Olympics: India hopes desert camp will unearth boxing gold

SCRIPT:

It’s the start of a new day and another gruelling workout for these aspiring boxers in northern India.

One hundred boys and girls are enrolled at this desert training camp that tests their physical endurance and commitment to the limit.

SOUNDBITE 1 Mandeep Singh (boy), young boxer (Hindi, 16 sec):
“The training is really tough, you have to go up and down, do side-rolls and everything. Training is very important, it builds our stamina and we get stronger. Vijendra did this training too and he fought for India at the Olympics.”

Vijendra Singh won bronze at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

But he’s not the only local boxing superstar to have punched these dunes.

Four out of five boxers who travelled to Beijing, and two of those heading to London honed their fighting skills at this club, one of a handful in the small town of Bhiwani.

Inspired by their success, parents are encouraging their children to sign up and take to the ring.

SOUNDBITE 2 Mamta (girl), young boxer (Hindi, 11 sec):
“When I was younger, I would run really well, and my uncle, my relatives they all do boxing and my father thought even I can do it and I know I can do it.”

The young trainees’ motivation extends beyond love of the sport.

The state rewards boxing success with cash and even government jobs.

In a region with scarce industry and high unemployment, boxing can be a ticket to a better life.

SOUNDBITE 3 Jagdish Singh (man), boxing coach, Bhiwani Boxing Club (Hindi, 14 sec):
“The main reason it’s so popular is that it creates job opportunities. The main priority is to get a job and then if they are really good then it’s to make their name and get famous. Boxing can bring both health and wealth.”

Such rewards are already in reach for Olympic hopeful Vikas Yadav.

He has trained at the club since he was a small boy and he sees a bright future for Indian boxing.

SOUNDBITE 4 Vikas Krishan Yadav (man), boxer competing in London Olympics (Hindi, 14 sec):
“The government is providing many facilities, we now have world-class infrastructure, private companies are coming forward and making our futures secure, they provide us with dietary supplements and physiotherapists. It is because of all this that the sport is growing here and India is becoming a boxing powerhouse.”

Boxing is already one of India’s top Olympic sports.

And with its surge in popularity, fresh young talent promises to give the country a fighting chance for Olympic success in 2012 and beyond.


SHOTLIST:

BHIWANI, INDIA, JUNE 26, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-VAR of young boxers running up a sand dune during a dawn training session
-A group of boxers rolling down a sand dune
-SOUNDBITE 1
-VAR of young boxers punching the sand

BHIWANI, INDIA, JUNE 25, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-VAR of young boxers punching the air during evening training at the Bhiwani Boxing Club
-SOUNDBITE 2
-VAR of boxers skipping to warm up
-VAR of boxers sparring with boxing gloves
-SOUNDBITE 3

BHIWANI, INDIA, JUNE 26, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-VAR of Olympic boxer Vikas Yadav doing strength training at the club
-SOUNDBITE 4

BHIWANI, INDIA, JUNE 25, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-VAR of the warm down to Bollywood music at the end of the evening training session at the boxing club

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