KARACHI: For the first time ever, women in Pakistan will be given the chance to pursue their passion for boxing when a week-long camp, organised by the Sindh Boxing Association (SBA) and featuring 43 athletes at two different venues — Lyari and North Karachi Gymkhana, kicks off on Wednesday.
According to SBA secretary Asghar Baloch, this is the first time since the inception of the Pakistan Boxing Federation in 1948 that women’s boxing will be taken up as a serious endeavour along with the provincial government’s support.
“This is the first step towards making history,” Asghar told The Express Tribune. “We’ve never held women’s boxing camps before or had coaching facilities for them in Pakistan. We are first starting from Karachi with hopes that the trend will spread across the country. In fact, even the Sindh Sports Department is involved with us, so it’s an official inauguration of women’s boxing in Pakistan.”
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Baloch believes that Pakistani women can be at par with their Indian counterparts in no time because they only need the encouragement and training facilities to do well in the sport.
“I do believe that the girls have the drive to prove themselves in boxing and can do better than India at the international platform. All they need is our support.”
The secretary emphasised that the country needs women’s boxing to excel in the AIBA (world amateur international boxing association) circuit. Baloch said that 50% of the international events held by AIBA are focused on women.
“We are lagging behind because we have no women pugilists,” he added. “However, this will change. AIBA has directed its members to encourage female boxing.”
Baloch further stated that so far 21 athletes will train in Lyari while 22 more aspirants will begin their camp in North Karachi Gymkhana till November 4.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2015.
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