Sports authority wakes up to plight of boxer who drives a tempo

Alerted by mid-day's story on boxer driving a goods vehicle in Pune to make a living, Sports Authority of India offers national bronze medallist a coaching course to help him become a coach

Twenty-four hours after mid-day highlighted how national boxing medallist Mrunal Bhosale (28) drives a tempo to make ends meet with no job to fall back on, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) yesterday came forward to support the Pune pugilist.

Mrunal Bhosale outside the club where he trains in Pune. Pic/Harit Joshi
Mrunal Bhosale outside the club where he trains in Pune. Pic/Harit Joshi 

SAI intends to offer him a one-year diploma course in coaching at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala or Bangalore. And, on completion of the course, SAI will offer him a coaching job.

Speaking to mid-day from New Delhi, SAI's Director General Injeti Srinivas said: "After we came across mid-day's report on boxer Mrunal, we would like to offer him a one-year diploma course in coaching.

"SAI is always on the look out for good coaches and we feel Mrunal can be a good prospect. However, we will contact Mrunal to understand his point of view and whether he is open to shift his focus to coaching.

"Since SAI comes under the government, he will lead a comfortable life as far as the financial part is concerned." Srinivas, however, made it clear that his offer was not out of sympathy.

"We are being professional. It is impossible to keep a tab on the background of each and every athlete in this country.

mid-day's report on April 18
mid-day's report on April 18 

"Once we come to know about a situation of an athlete, we like to do our best for him/her. This is not out of sympathy. Whatever we are offering is on merit," said Srinivas.

Bhosale won a bronze medal in 64kg category in the men's elite at the National Championship at Nagpur in January this year.

Bhosale, a first year Bachelors of Arts student, trains four hours a day and drives a tempo during the day to keep his boxing ambitions alive.

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