Running for the first-ever International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Athletes’ Commission, Laishram Sarita Devi has been elected among the six boxers from five continents who were elected as members of the commission. Manipur-based, former World and Asian champion, L Sarita Devi, was chosen after voting during the World Championships for men and women in September-October. This is a first of its kind commission formed to be represented by boxers from across the globe. Inspired by Muhammad Ali’s achievements, Sarita, 37, turned professional in boxing in the year 2000. She is DSP in Manipur Police.
Sarita is an eight-time Asian Championships medallist – five of them gold. The 37-year-old has three World Championships medal — a gold in 2006 and a bronze each in 2005 and 2008. “I am 37 now and mother of a kid. Some people have even said that I have grown old and cannot do it again. But I am proud that I forced my way into the team after beating everyone. It’s a big challenge for me,” she claimed.
“I am still an active athlete and have no plans of giving up anytime soon. I understand that it would be a challenge to manage my time for the multiple roles but I will try to do my best if I make it,” Sarita had said.
She is currently an athlete’s representative in the executive committee of the Boxing Federation of India, which nominated her for the position in the world body as well. “If I am elected, it would be a huge responsibility,” the Manipuri veteran in the lightweight (60kg) category had earlier told PTI.
- Sarita Devi was elected unopposed as a member of the AIBA Athletes Commission.
- The veteran boxer was among the six boxers who were selected as members of the commission from five continents
- Sarita will be representing the Asian bloc in the AIBA’s first-ever athletes commission. She remained the sole candidate contesting for the position from the Asian region.
As a member, Sarita will oversee greater communication between AIBA and boxers. However, her primary focus will be to ensure a proper coordination in the process of formulation of rules and projects for the sport.
“I am still an active athlete and have no plans of giving up anytime soon. I understand that it would be a challenge to manage my time for the multiple roles but I will try to do my best if I make it,” Sarita said. “Having served in the BFI executive body, I have some experience of raising athletes’ issues,” she added.
The veteran has made the country proud in various platforms, including the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when she won silver. She means to generate a buzz around issues related to women’s boxing. “The well-being of women boxers is a primary concern for me and I will try and be their active voice in AIBA,” she had said.
She had won gold during the 2006 World Championships held in New Delhi. The Manipuri, who is also a multiple-time Asian champion, assured that she will decide on her retirement after next Year’s Olympic Games, where she hopes to win an elusive medal.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times