A Nizamabadi girl, who trains in Hyderabad, had to fight Outside the Ring also, to become a World Champion…
Mohammad Jameel Ahmed
14th June 1996
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It is perplexing for a young girl to take up sport where the ring is dominated by men. Also, this young girl is a native of Nizamabad, belonging to a traditional community. Having the natural talent along with the required stamina, guts, right timing and the impact has given deserved applauds to Nikhat Zareen. Winning gold at a ‘teen’ age of 15 after fighting all odds of society is not easy. Nikhat always wanted to do something different than conventions. Having the qualities of both an attacker & defender, she is inspired by Mary Kom and Mohammed Ali. Making her family & India proud, the boxer has secured medals at various tournaments. She has been an inspiration for many young girls from Telangana to learn and pursue boxing. Presently she is aspiring for Gold at the 2020 Olympics.
Team imd1 had a chat with her a few days ago, read on to know her further!
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
I started out as an athlete with 100-200 meter races. I was accompanied by my father to training fields and he used to check my times during training sprints. . He was the one who introduced me to boxing after I questioned him as to why there wasn’t any women boxer in the Urban Games in 2009. He answered jokingly that women do not have the required strength for boxing. This ignited the spark in me to enter the ring and prove this mentality wrong.
Food I love
Food I hate
Had I not been Boxer then
IPS officer as that was my childhood dream
Like Vacations at
Favorite Past time
Spending time with my friends in the junior national camp
Maine Pyar Kiya, Chak De India, Dangal, Sultan, Bahubali
Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Salman Khan
What has been your success mantra?
I believe that working hard each day brings the destined rewards for real success.
What were the hardships & hurdles you encountered and how did you overcome them?
Lot of obstacles came my way. Since my family and community were conservative, there was resistance initially. My father was always by my side like a defense mechanism. He helped me fight unsporting suggestions and fortified me to work hard.
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
Dealing with failures is equally important as taking lessons from them. One has to move on to the next phase and face challenges confidently.
Do you think Boxing and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Sport has the capability of imparting life’s important lessons. Boxing per se teaches you no matter how hard you are hit by the opponent; you have to be on your feet in the next round! It is sometimes you who gets punched and there would be times when your opponent.
Who has been your influencer in your journey so far?
My father has been my guide and support ; right from Day one when I decided to wear the gloves and step into the ring. My family too stayed by my side. I have received incredible sustenance from JSW sports, which have taken me under their wing and are providing me all the requisites and support.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
Standing on the podium after winning Gold at the junior world championship and listening to our National Anthem being played, I apprehended the triumph for my country and felt very special.
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
I have been trained with boys and that has been a real encounter. They have never gone easy on me and always gave a tough bout. Positively, this aided me become robust throughout my initial years of training. Here, I express gratitude to my coaches Samsam Uddin, I Venkateshwara Rao, Emani Chiranjeevi who have trained and guided me for what I have achieved till this day.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Boxing?
To succeed in any activity, there has to be a systematic approach. Boxing too falls in those lines. Scientific attitude in sports is needed to answer ‘how, when & what’, to give your best. There are different regimes which I follow depending on whether it is off-season, closer to competition or recovering from competition.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
Various essentials underwrite to make a good athlete – physically & mentally. Beginning at a right age and receiving appropriate guidance helps in achieving big.
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in boxing. What’s your take?
People associated with sports in India, have realized the need for latest technology in athletic training. This is cheering and would help us to compete for medals with other nations,
How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Boxing?
Is there a way to select Ideal Guru? I am not sure! Coaching is partnership. You have to trust your coach and both have to work together on the same wavelength.
What according to you can be a scope for improvement in training for Boxing in India?
Various initiatives should be taken to popularize boxing and its importance in our country. We need to generate good boxers to participate in various tournaments across the world. Fighting against the best players will train us further. Focus should be more on giving exposure to overseas training.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Boxing in remote parts of India?
Our remote areas have some of the best talent which is being exposed slowly. These regions should have access to various facilities for training, coaches and medical aid. Though it’s not easy but it isn’t impossible as well.