Blood sport in Vijender’s blood
With such devotion and passion for the sport, someone from the family was destined to punch his way to fame and glory. Vijender turned out to be the chosen one. Saurabh Duggal reports.india Updated: Aug 21, 2008 00:11 IST
Boxing runs in Vijender Kumar's blood. His grandfather, Darayo Singh Beniwal, introduced the sport in their village, Kalwash; his father and uncles carried forward what has become a tradition in the family, inspiring their own children and others in the village to slip on the boxing gloves.
With such devotion and passion for the sport, someone from the family was destined to punch his way to fame and glory. Vijender turned out to be the chosen one.
"My grandfather and two of his brothers were in the Army and they picked up the sport there. They would bring home their old gloves and that got my father and his cousins interested in the sport. Then it was our turn to take to the sport," said Vijender's elder brother Manoj, revealing how every male from the family was associated with the sport.
"Whenever Vijender is home, we practice together and pick up some tips from him. I am making steady progress and have set my eyes on the 2012 London Olympics," said Jagbir Singh, one of the many boxer cousins of Vijender.
If Vijender is the source of inspiration for many of his cousins, he himself was inspired by an uncle.
"I took to boxing because of my uncle Narinder. He was a national-level boxer and he encouraged me to take up the sport," Vijender told HT sometime ago.
The ladies of the family, too, love the sport. "We are watching all the bouts and are closely following the Indian boxers," said Urmila Beniwal. Passion for boxing hasn't been confined to Vijender's family. Their exploits have inspired many others. Nearly 150 children from the village are pursuing the sport. Almost every household in the village boasts a boxer.