BFI to conduct daily video calls to keep in touch with Indian boxers

The lockdown has forced the boxing federation to mentor, coach and keep tabs on the boxers via video conferencing.

While a nation-wide lockdown may have forced all athletes to stay home, the coaching aspect has not taken a backseat as far as the Indian boxers are concerned, with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) set to conduct daily video calls for the 21-day period.

BFI president Ajay Singh began the initiative to keep a tab on Indian boxers with the first call being held on Sunday. It included the nine Indian boxers who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those who could yet make the cut.

The call included the coaches, support staff, team doctors and BFI’s executive director RK Sacheti. 

“This is a challenging time for us, all the more reason for us to take care of ourselves,” Ajay Singh was quoted saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.

“My message to all our boxers is to stay fit, continue with the exercises as directed by the coaches and try to maintain weight as much as possible. We will get back to the ring but staying motivated in the meantime is absolutely necessary.”

The planned hour-long calls will include the coaches showing video footage of possible opponents for the Indian boxers and discuss strategies to tackle them.

The classes will be conducted by BFI’s high-performance directors - Santiago Nieva for the men and Rafaelle Bergamasco for the women boxers.

Other aspects like diet control, nutritional needs and mental health will also be addressed in these digital sessions.

The Indian boxers, who secured a record nine berths for the Tokyo Olympics at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan earlier this month, were supposed to be at a national training camp currently but those plans have been put off for now.

How boxers are dealing with lockdown

The Indian boxers who returned from Amman were in self-quarantine at home even before the national lockdown began. London 2012 bronze medallist Mary Kom, who will make her second appearance at the Games when the Tokyo Olympics roll around, is making the most of the uninterrupted time she gets to spend with her kids.

Rising Indian boxer Amit Panghal, who will make his Olympics bow at Tokyo has installed some training equipment at home to keep up with the required fitness levels and is also taking appropriate steps to stay safe from the coronavirus.

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