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Hyderabad: While most of his peers are sitting at home enjoying a retired life, the 77-year-old boxing coach Emani Chiranjeevi is finding ways to train young boxers and help them achieve their goals.

The renowned boxing coach, who played a key role in shaping careers of many boxers from twin cities, especially from Osmania University during his coaching days including the likes of current world champion Nikhat Zareen, is following his passion for teaching boxing.

“For me, it is the way of life. I want to keep doing it as long as I can. My goal is to help as many youngsters as possible. At this age, I am still able to do what I like, that is the most important thing,” said Chiranjeevi.

After retiring from active boxing, he turned to coaching in 1983 and started working in Chennai before shifting his base to Hyderabad in 1984 where he joined Osmania University. He then guided them to the gold in All India Inter-University games twice in a span of four years. “I can proudly say that 48 of my students from Telangana got jobs in railways. Whoever came from other States, they returned with jobs. OU were twice winners in All India University. Around 18 students won medals at the All India University level. It was very satisfying,” he recalled.

After his stint with OU till 1988, he was appointed as the national coach for the Indian team. He took the Indian boxing contingent to Asian Games and SAF Games. He also revealed that the city of Hyderabad was abuzz with boxing during the 1980s and 90s.

“There were a good number of boxers in those days. Many of them are now settled in railways. It is a pity that boxing’s popularity went down drastically due to some reasons. Once I retired in 2006 from active coaching, there were no medals for the State. Only Nikhat Zareen won the All India University medal in 2016.”

Chiranjeevi was instrumental in shaping Nikhat’s career as well. “She came to me in 2014 and trained for two years. We worked hard on her game. Now she is reaping rewards. It is her dedication and willingness to work hard that helped her succeed at the world stage,” he added.

Though retired in 2006, he was never away from coaching. He then worked with Jindal Steels training kids in Hyderabad. He used to train kids at the Nizam College and Artillery Centre, Golconda. “I have good support from the army. They used to have good sparring partners and they also provided us with the facilities. I also used to train them. One of the students also won a medal at the World Military Games in Hyderabad,” he recalled.

Chiranjeevi is currently working with the Telangana Social Welfare Residential School, Narsingi and training kids. “I have started working with them two years ago. But because of the pandemic, I could not go. We are looking at ways to resume training. I have started with 20 girls and I have identified four to five kids who are passionate and can do well. My aim is to help them succeed in life. That gives me immense satisfaction,” he revealed.

What advice the veteran coach gives to the youngsters to succeed. “Effort is the key to success. Boxing is an art of self-defence. For any sport, physical and mental state is crucial,” he added.



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Author: Howard Caldwell