Mary Kom becomes player-cum-coach

New Delhi: After proving her mettle inside the ring, Khel Ratna awardee woman boxer MC Mary Kom is now busy making a transition to coaching as well by setting up an academy in Imphal even while she guns for a fifth world title herself.

The 27-year-old, with a little help from Army and CRPF, has set up an academy in the Manipur capital and currently has 17 girls under her aegis.

"I started the academy in 2007 but it has become more active only now. The army gave me equipment worth Rs 5 lakh while the CRPF also chipped in with equipment worth Rs 4 lakh," the mother-of-two told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference to announce her association with nutritional supplements brand.

Dubbed `Magnificent Mary` by the International Boxing Association for her unprecedented four world titles, the diminutive pin weight (46kg) pugilist is one of the rare active athletes to be training youngsters.

"There are 17 girls right now at the academy and we make sure that they get accommodation while they train there. They are in the age group of 14 to 18," she said.

Talking about her own career, Mary Kom said she is looking forward to the upcoming World Championships in September and the Asian Games in November.

"I have been training hard and since the pin weight would be replaced by light fly weight (48kg), I would have to bulk up a bit for which I would take nutritional supplements," she said.

Mary Kom once again advocated the appointment of a foreign coach for the boxers.

"New ideas are always welcome. A foriegn coach would bring a fresh perspective and that would help everyone. It would be good for our preparations for the Asian Games where women`s boxing would be featured for the first time," she said.

A brand ambassador for the Commonwealth Games here this year, Mary Kom said she would have felt happier if women`s boxing had been included in the event.

"It is disappointing but then nothing can be done now. I am happy and surprised to be named a brand ambassador for the Games despite the fact that women`s boxing is not there in the Games," she said.


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