Poornima Dadarkar has been working hard to beat the notion that boxing is not a feminine sport. Last year, Poornima, a second-year BMM student of Wilson College, was the only woman to represent Maharashtra at the All India Boxing Coaching Camp. “The camp usually only trains national winners every year. Despite being a non-medallist at that time, the committee members selected me because they saw a spark in me,” says Poornima, who is currently training to represent Mumbai University in the Light Welter category (60- 64 kgs) for the All India University Championship in November.
And how does she feel about playing this “manly” sport? “I think people are deluded to think that boxing is a guy’s sport. Most girls fear boxing because they feel they might get bruised and scar their face. But, that’s not true since this isn’t an aggressive sport.”
Poornima attends two training sessions every day and closer to the competition, she trains thrice a day. Shebelieves that the glove game is a healthy option for women
aiming to reduce weight in a fun way. She says, “Apart from toning the body, boxing also makes you bold and increases your self-defence skills.”
The winner of the Most Promising Boxer Award in the 2007 Senior National Championships begins her day with long-distance running. Then, she practices shadow boxing, skipping, padding and hitting the punching bag.
Says Poornima’s coach, Rajan Jothady who has been training amateur boxers for the past 32 years,
“Boxing is the healthiest option of all sports. People nowadays are more into kickboxing, but it doesn’t help after a certain age. Boxing helps people get a stronger
body and lose weight naturally. Since it mostly focuses on footwork, it helps tone down the legs while the upper body is taken care of by the punches.” He adds, “More and more women in India are entering this sport. We currently have four female boxing world champions in India itself.”