Sports is essential for overall development. We were taught that as early as elementary school. Then we learnt that sports could also be a multi-million-dollar career choice. Truth be told, the sporting life is spent somewhere between these two objectives of physical development and financial security. Sports Rediscovered takes a look at the development of Mandeep Sandhu from a teenager struggling to buy a pair of shoes to the glory of a junior world boxing crown.
In sports, the underdogs get a stage to exhibit; the suppressed get the power to explode and rags get their chance to turn to riches.
The Tale of Mandeep Sandhu
Mandeep Sandhu took her chance and made the most of it. The 15-year old girl from Chakkar village in Punjab won a gold at the recently concluded AIBA Women’s Junior World Boxing Championship in Taipei, China. Thus she penned an unrivaled success story in Indian Women’s Boxing.
Making History in China
In a land where the spectators are still having a hard time pronouncing her name, Mandeep beat each of the gold medal contenders and put on an exhibition of style.
Mandeep exploded in the finals and beat Ireland’s ‘Golden Girl’ Niamh Earley 3-0 on points to win the gold medal.
Brief History of Mandeep’s Journey: Aid from Sher-e-Punjab Academy
At the age of eight, when Mandeep Sandhu decided to become a boxer, her family could not afford to buy her shoes. Today, with the help of Sher-e-Punjab sports academy she has won two titles overseas this year ensuring she had good memories from both of her outings. The rags to riches story is complete and Mandeep Sandhu, at the age of 15 has all the makings of an inspirational sporting legend.
For her family back in Punjab, it is a dream that has come true all because of the Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy. The academy is the brainchild of two NRI brothers Ajmer Singh and Baldev Singh. As a child, Mandeep Sandhu used to watch professionals practice at the academy. And soon enough young Sandhu was attracted towards the sport at the time when she told her father that she too wanted to become a boxer, her family owned just an acre of land. Once she decided to visit the academy, things started to change.
Mandeep’s father Jagdev Singh told a leading Indian newspaper, about the support he received from the academy and its volunteers.
According to Mandeep’s coach Balwant Singh, she has never missed a day of practice and even trained for extra hours in the morning. All of her hard work started to pay off when she won her maiden title at the 2011 Junior Nationals. The following year, she defended her title. In January this year, she won her first international title by winning the nations cup in Serbia.
A slightly Iranian face and wheatish complexion, Mandeep Sandhu carries the same grace in her movement inside the ring as she does outside. With proper support that she is now receiving, she has a long and rewarding career ahead.