Help Narmadha in her journey to train an Olympic-level boxer

The following was written on behalf of Narmadha for her fundraising campaign.

Narmadha is a National level boxing champion who dreams of sending one of her own girls whom she coaches to the Olympics some day. 

She has won bronze medals at the Nationals in 2007 and 2008, and was named the best boxer at the state level in 2008. She has also won the Gold at the state level in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Though she didn’t make it to the international platform, Narmadha has made up her mind to ensure that her girls do. To make her “mission” a success she has roped in her old classmates and together they are teaching children from economically poor backgrounds the skills of boxing. By teaching them boxing Narmadha hopes to bring about behavioural and developmental changes in the children she coaches. Narmadha teaches these children boxing free of cost and makes a living by working as a gym trainer during the day.

"Chennai girls are tough. They have the guts to dream. In places like Manipur, where boxing is almost a part of regular schooling, they have good training facilities and boxing gears. But even though Chennai girls don’t have that, they have no doubts that they can punch their way to the Olympics" says Narmadha.

Narmadha herself had gotten into boxing in 2006 when she was in Class 6, thanks to a Chennai Corporation initiative. “We didn’t even know what the sport was called, but we would go to tournaments and feel happy when we won a medal,” recalls her friend and fellow player Sevvandhi. It was around that time that the state government had introduced boxing along with judo, karate and other such combat sports for girls in corporation-run schools.

"My speed is not what it was but if my girls make it to the big leagues then I will be more delighted than if I would have made it myself,” says Narmadha.

What will Narmadha to do with the funds?

Narmadha is looking to purchase the following equipment with the help of your contribution:

Gloves - 50 pairs x Rs.1500 = Rs.75,000
Punching bag  - 6 (2 sizes) x Rs.2500 = Rs.15,000
Bandage - 100 pairs x Rs.150 = Rs.15,000
Mouth guard - 100 x Rs.50 = Rs.5,000
Head guard - 10 x Rs.1000 = Rs.10,000

As of now, her friends and she have pooled in some money to buy three pairs of boxing gloves that are shared between 100 girls! 

If she exceeds her fundraising target she will use the balance to purchase T-shirts, shoes and boxing shorts for her students.

This story first appeared on TheBetterIndia
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20th September 2016
Dear Supporters,

I am Uthra Nagarajan, an Open Fellow for Milaap at Chennai. A quick call and a confirmation later, I was on my way to meet Narmadha, the champion of this campaign, on a Wednesday evening. I reached St. Joseph’s Girls Higher Secondary School in Purasawalkam, and was welcomed by the sounds and sights of young women on a stage, practising boxing.

I joined Narmadha near the stage and started conversing with her about her latest achievements, our conversation interrupted by punches and blows on the punch bag and a stack of tires, from her coterie of girls. 

Narmadha, along with four of her friends, started coaching school girls at St. Joseph’s in Purasawalkam, the Nungambakkam market Corporation school, and another one at Aynavaram, around six months ago. Apart from this, a few girls at Kannagi Nagar Housing Board are also under their free tutelage. The results have been brilliant up until now, a recent big win being the boxing tournament at Madurai. “We took 10 girls from the three schools to the tournament,” she explained, her face shining with pride. “Of the 10, 5 reached semi-finals, 3 to finals and one got selected for nationals. If my girls can achieve so much in six months of training without proper gear, I am sure they can reach greater heights with better equipment.” 

Her students also won the overall championship at a recent YMCA tournament. Not wanting to rest easy on their laurels, Narmadha and her clan are now even more motivated to win in the coming tournaments. But their biggest obstacle still remains the same. While St. Joseph’s has a commendable set of equipment, it’s not the case with the other two schools. 

Lacking enough gloves, mouth guards, head guards, punching bags, amongst others, sometimes students from other schools visit St. Joseph’s for the equipment. Most of them train without gloves, wearing it only before a match or a tournament. “When they enter a match wearing gloves for the first time, it feels a bit weird on them,” Narmadha said. “Boxers need to get used to gloves for them to wear it easy and so training with gloves is a necessity.”

Coaching around 120 girls in total, for free, is no mean feat. But Narmadha and her friends have been doing it with élan, multi-tasking along with their jobs and studies. Her campaign, which needs Rs. 1,50,000 for the necessary equipment, has raised only Rs. 1000 until now. “Coming from a poor economic background, I know what it is to struggle to make it big,” reflected Narmadha. “In a sport where a coach can make or break you, I am only passionate about uplifting my students. Given the right equipment and training, I’m confident I can create national and international champions out of my girls.”  

raised of Rs.150,000 goal

5 Supporters

Fundraising campaigns (1)

Supporters (5)

Anonymous donated Rs.3,000
about 1 year ago
Murali donated Rs.5,000
almost 2 years ago
Girish donated US $50
almost 2 years ago
Aswathram donated US $50
almost 2 years ago
Paramjeet donated Rs.1,000
about 2 years ago

It's because of your dedication and love towards sports and country that will enable us to win Ton loads of Medals in the years to come. Keep up the good work.