Coach Gurbax wants parting gift from his wards

first_imgA bearded man, in his late 50s, shouting at the top of his voice and instructing his wards to follow their daily training regime is a common sight at the national boxing camp in NIS, Patiala.The man with a never-say-die attitude is national coach Gurbux Singh Sandhu, who helped India open their account at the Olympics and the World Championships. Scheduled to retire in July 2013, Sandhu wants a parting gift from his wards – to improve on their Beijing Olympics performance of a bronze medal.Sandhu said that he wants to end his career on a high and there could not be a better thing than to win more than one medal in London.”A coach wants to see his wards scaling new heights. When Vijender won bronze in Beijing, it was a high point for the entire coaching staff. Since boxers are more eager to win now, I want them to clinch more medals than they did in Beijing. I can’t say whether it will be a gold or silver but we are capable of winning them,” he told Mail Today.Sandhu, who has been the national coach since 1993, added: “I have seen the best and the worst days of Indian boxing in my coaching career. The current spell is the best and with little time left in my tenure, I want the boxers to do even better in London,” said Sandhu.The coach said his seven wards going to the London Olympics have the potential to improve on India’s Beijing show.advertisement”Boxing is such a sport where a lot depends on luck, draw and the boxer’s form on that particular day. But I feel the current lot is very motivated and talented and if they play to their potential, they can win more than one medal in London,” said Sandhu.From India, Laishram Devendro (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Vijender Kumar (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) are the Olympics-bound boxers.Sandhu’s association with the sport goes back to his childhood days at Sainik School, Jamnagar, where boxing was a compulsory discipline.He was a state champion but as he says, his inclination was more towards studies. However, destiny willed otherwise and after finishing school, Sandhu joined Government Sports College, Jalandhar, and later studied to acquire a diploma in boxing coaching from the NIS in 1975. He went to Germany to pursue Masters in Sports and on his return, joined NIS in 1977-78.”Boxing has given me a lot of honour and coaching is my passion. But the extension of my tenure after July 2013 will be on the discretion of the Sports Authority of India,” said Sandhu.”But boxing is a team game for coaches also. Had I not had a good support staff, our boxers wouldn’t have had such wonderful results in major events. I hope the same support will take more than one boxer to the podium in London,” he signed off.last_img

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