Mumbai opens its purse for Malwani boxing champs
After mid-day published the story a month ago, two individuals and two organisations came together to fund these less-fortunate boxing trainees; total fund stands at Rs 1.3 lakh
A month ago, this paper carried the story of Ketan Saini and other boxers of St Mathew’s High School in Malwani, Malad who were punching above their situations and snapping medals at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school boxing tournament in January. These less fortunate youngsters — a total group of 30 girls and boys — live in a slum near the school and struggled for food and proper equipment for practice.
Students of St Mathew’s High School enjoying their new sports gear that was donated by people after reading the mid-day story
mid-day’s front page story dated March 13 changed that. A number of people came forward post the story and helped these enthusiastic boxers push closer to their dream.
The mid-day article on March 13 displayed at the notice board of St Mathew’s High School. Pic/Bipin Kokate
“Devika Sharma, Mukesh Vaidya, Astha Group from Prabhadevi and Anandco Sporting Company in Delhi have all given money to buy equipment for the students. We now have Rs 1,30,000 worth of boxing equipment. We can afford to give breakfast, lunch and snacks to the children every day,” said coach Santosh Dhaygonde.
Devika Sharma (yellow shirt) felicitated by principal Larzy Varghese and boxing coach Santosh
For breakfast, the trainees are given egg and cereal or oats; for lunch, the menu comprises dal, vegetables, roti and rice and for evening snacks, the children are provided biscuits and protein shake or some other health drink like Bournvita, Complan, etc.
A student with the new gear
The school has bought four red and four blue corner head guards, 10 punching gloves (a mix of red and blue), 15 blue and 15 red boxing gloves, three boxes of mouth guards, 12 skipping ropes, two pairs of focus pads, 20 hand bandages, 26 shoes and three punching bags with the money received.
“On Saturday, the children won two gold and six silver medals at an inter-school boxing competition held at Grant Road. I am very proud of them,” said Larzy Varghese, principal and trustee of St Mathew’s Educational Trust that runs the school. Some 15-16 schools had participated in this competition.
The forthcoming event scheduled for these students is the Mayor Cup Boxing tournament that will be held on April 23 and 24 at Sports Authority of India, Kandivali. They are planning to send the top ten boxers for this tournament.
“We have sufficient equipment now. But paying the entrance fee for these tournaments and the travel money is a problem. I would like all the students to get the exposure of boxing at the top level but sometimes we are only able to send the best,” ended Dhaygonde.
To help the students contact Larzy Varghese (Principal, St Mathew’s High School) 9869644159