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Go after your passion

Do what you are interested in and do it seriously, says the first Indian woman boxer to have won five world titles in a row

education Updated: Oct 20, 2010 09:22 IST
Rahat Bano

Early days
I attended Loktak Christian Model School and later St Xavier’s (and Adimjati School) in Manipur. I was neither too good at studies, nor too bad. I was interested in sports — every game, be it football, volleyball, athletics. My principals, teachers, coaches, all encouraged me to take up sports.

Initial resistance
At that time, people didn’t know about women’s boxing. Initially, people, including within my family, discouraged me. My father didn’t like boxing. He suggested I go for judo or wrestling but I was not interested in those sports. I explained the game to my father and finally convinced him to let me get into it.

The struggle
I have suffered a lot. Being a woman, you could not travel alone. My cousins would drop me for the game. They helped me a lot. Now I travel on my own. When we go for competitions, we travel with a team.

How I reached here
I believe God gave me talent. And I have reached where I am today because of my hard work, determination, and will power.

Future quest
Olympic Gold Quest (which assists Indian talent to win gold at the Olympics) is fully supporting me. And on the personal front, my husband is a great support. I am in the third year of my BA programme. My twin sons — three years and two months old — are in pre-nursery at Xavier’s (in Manipur).

I would like to introduce my sons to lawn tennis though I don’t know if they would like it. Why? Before boxing, I played lawn tennis; it’s very expensive, so I couldn’t pursue it.
After retiring I would like to be a coach.

A word for the young
Do what you are interested in and do it seriously. Work hard, with determination and will power.

MC Mary Kom, world boxing champion Interviewed by Rahat Bano