Thirteen-year-old Gurgaon boy Yashwardhan Singh bagged a gold medal in the 50th Haryana state boxing championship held in Kaithal district earlier this week. The class 6 student of Shalom Hills International School won five fights in the under-14 age group (36 kg to 38 kg weight category). Yashwardhan will now represent Haryana in the national boxing championship in January. In conversation with Isha Sahni , Yashwardhan spoke about his love for the game.
When did you start boxing and how much time do you devote to the sport daily?
I was introduced to the sport in 2013 and began training at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon. I train for around three hours every day under my coach Dharmvir Singh.
Have you ever felt intimidated by any boxer in the ring?
I do not feel scared or intimidated by opponents. I know my game and have confidence in my capabilities.
Which boxer do you admire and is there anyone you want to fight with?
I love Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar and would love to fight with such champions one day. I want to take on international players also.
What do you want to become when you grow up? What is it that you want to change or improve about the country?
I want to serve the country and work in the administrative services. I think I would give special attention to sports as well as education as both are important in shaping a child’s life.
Who is your biggest support in the family?
Both my parents are very supportive and help me with both, training and studies. They take care of my diet and see that I balance my studies and game properly. For me, they have made a gym at home. It has a treadmill, punching bag and other equipment so that I can practise at home also.
Has technology helped you learn more forms and techniques?
I watch boxing championships on the internet to learn different techniques and forms. I spend hours on YouTube studying techniques of boxers.
Do you think it is easy to pursue a career in sports in our country?
I do not think so. Even though I have several medals and awards, my parents feel that boxing cannot be my only future option and I should excel in studies also. They say that in India, there is no stable career in sports and it is always better to have back-up options.