Boxing gains new ground in Mullaitivu | Sunday Observer

Boxing gains new ground in Mullaitivu

18 September, 2022
Mullaitivu women’s boxers with their trophy presented by Capt. RK Indrasena
Mullaitivu women’s boxers with their trophy presented by Capt. RK Indrasena

Boxers in Mullaitivu stole the thunder at the Northern Province Meet which served as a qualification for the National Sports Festival as they dominated the podium at Vidyananda College, Mullaitivu.

Men and women pugilists from the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu contested the bouts during the competition producing some power-packed performances. I

t was conducted by the Northern Province Sports Department of the Ministry of Sports under the supervision of Senior District Sports Officer Northern Province S Sadanandan.

Mullaitivu men’s team won a total of 14 medals comprising seven gold, five silver and two bronze while their women’s representatives clinched a total of nine medals including three gold and four silver.

They are coached by K Nagendra also known as Valluwan, a boxing stalwart in the region who acknowledged the services rendered by a former Air Force boxer and senior referee/judge T Nalin Thajudeen who was instrumental in introducing boxing in the Northern province in 2013. There are three schools who have taken up the sport.

Vavuniya District coached by Nixon Rubaraj emerged as second best overall with women boxers winning a total of six medals including two gold and three silver while there were two winners in the men’s category.

Jaffna men’s team won a total of six medals including two gold and two silver while producing a runner-up in the women’s category to be placed third overall.

Rubaraj who formed the Vavuniya District Boxing Association is virtually doing a voluntary service to keep boxing alive in the district with limited facilities coaching boxers from eight schools without a salary from 2017.

There is a training centre for training on a piece of land given by the Urban Council of Vavuniya but Rubaraj lamented the fact that they hardly have any funds while boxers have to travel about 30 kilometres daily for practices.

Jaffna District coach Ranjithanathan Ramesh is also boxing on without the basic boxing equipment for training.

Former national boxing coach Capt. RK Indrasena noted there was vast potential for the development of the sport in the Northern Province.

“I can see lot of hidden talent especially among the women boxers. If they are selected and trained in a pool, they can go on to bring glory to the country even at international level,” said Indrasena. He motivated them to improve their standard by working hard in training in a bid to excel at national and international level.

Among the star performers were Yogarasa Nitharshana, Krishna Vaani and Dilakshana from Mullaitivu.

Nitharshana who was runner-up to national light fly weight champion Nadeeka Ranasinghe at the Commonwealth Games selection trials outclassed her rival. M Menuka from Vavuniya fighting in the Light weight class was also a cut above the rest.