Indian national boxing camp eyeing mid-May start

A decision will be taken based on the lockdown situation in the country post 3rd May, says BFI Secretary General.

By Naveen Peter ·

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is hoping to resume the national camp of its elite pugilists by the second week of May.

Speaking to the Olympic Channel, BFI Secretary General Jay Kowli said that the federation was keeping a close eye on the developments and was working on getting their elite boxers to the camp at the earliest.

“We can’t sit idle. The discussions are on. We have to plan for the future,” Kowli told the _Olympic Channel. _

“There’s nothing that we can confirm now. It will depend on how the lockdown progresses. We can take a call only once the central government has decided on the lockdown situation post-May 3.”

Meanwhile, one of India’s premier boxers Amit Panghal said that the athletes were kept in the loop, but it was too early to finalise on a plan.

“The camp could resume by May 15. But there's no confirmation as such. The federation is working on figuring a way out,” he said.

Patiala, New Delhi, Ballari or Rohtak?

In the past, the Indian men’s boxing team has been training at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, Punjab or the Inspire Institute of Sports in Ballari, Karnataka while the women have been training at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in the national capital.

However, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the federation to reconsider the venue for the camps.

“We are discussing the venues as well. Apart from the usual venues, Rohtak has the National Boxing Academy, a state-of-the-art facility. We are considering that as well,” the BFI Secretary General said.

“However, it's not the facilities at these places that we have to consider, but also the prevailing situation on the ground.”

As per the information released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi along with Maharashtra have emerged as the two majorly hit states in the country, while Karnataka has been showing trends on controlling the number of positive cases over the past few days. 

Preparations for Asian Boxing Championships 

With India winning the hosting rights for the Asian Boxing Championships, that’s another event that BFI is hoping to keep on track despite the uncertainties given the pandemic.

The national federation is hoping to organise the event at the end of the year. But if the event is to go ahead as planned, the BFI is keen to hit the ground running in the coming months.

“It's a developing situation. If we can see the pandemic situation being brought under control in the coming months, then we can start working on the Asian Championships,” Kowli said. 

“We have been working closely with the continental body and we are confident of having the Asian meet in India if the pandemic is controlled in the coming months.”

With the Asian qualifiers for the Olympics done, the Asian Championships would prove to be the only test event for the Indian boxers who are yet to seal their place at the Tokyo Games ahead of the world qualifiers.