This 58-year old man never seems exhausted. He has been maintaining the schedule for last 25 years. His morning starts at 5 AM when he straight to his club, dedicates himself in training around 120 students (roughly 80 boys and 40 girls) till afternoon. That is followed by one more training session which resumes in the evening and finishes by night.
Meet Jagdish Singh, the founder of Bhiwani Boxing Club also known as the BBC of Haryana.
Since its commencement in 2003, Jagdish Singh’s influence has produced more than 20 international medal winners including stars like Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar, Vikash Krishnan Yadav, Dinesh Kumar, and Kavita Chahal. All of the above five are Arjuna awardees. Jagdish also received the highest honour in coaching – Dronacharya award in 2007.
Still Bhiwani Boxing Club lacks most of today’s modern infrastructure. Jagdish lamented while speaking to The Bridge from Bhiwani over phone, “I took a personal loan from nationalized bank to set up the club. In the last 16 years I have received financial grant only twice. One was from company (Sahara Group) in 2009 and the other was from the previous Haryana government. We received around INR 70 to 80 lakh in total in the last 16 years. This apart, I have never received any financial support from any corner, either from the Union Sports Ministry government, SAI, or from any other corporates.”
Still, Jagdish seemed to have swallowed this pain sportingly. Even after being awarded with Dronacharya, Jagdish has been felicitated only once in the last 16 years and he had donated all his cash received from the felicitation function to his club.
But he seems not to have been able to conceal his anguish when asked about his successful students. He said, “Vijender calls me often. Dinesh, Akhil also are in touch with me over phone. But none of my star students has ever expressed willingness to contribute to BBC. They are all financially settled. Could not they contribute least amount of money for their cradle? I have decided to write a book on my students that how they have overlooked my contribution and Bhiwani Boxing Club in all these years. I will name the book, Kalyug ka Arjuns.“
Since 2012, Jagdish has shifted his focus onto producing quality female boxers. He has shone in this domain too, by producing boxers like Nitu, the gold medalist in World Youth Championship and Sakshi, the gold medalist in World Junior Youth Championships.
Twelve girl students train in his club now. “I have been training them with traditional infrastructure. I do not have modern gym. I cannot provide sauna. I do not have physiotherapist or dietician. I do not have a sports psychologist. Even the club does not have its own doctor,” he said.
To conclude, Jagdish did not hesitate to comment, “BBC is gradually losing its glory, precisely when it comes to male boxing.” The employee of SAI in Rohtak is now planning to join politics. He asserted, “The present state government has done very little for sports. I want do something for Haryana in future after retirement.”