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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Indian Boxing’s First Dronacharya Awardee Coach OP Bhardwaj Dies Battling Extended Sickness

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India’s first Dronacharya awardee coach in boxing, OP Bhardwaj, died on Friday after battling extended sickness and age-related points in New Delhi. He was 82 and had tragically misplaced his spouse Santosh to ill-health about 10 days in the past. Bhardwaj was bestowed the best nationwide honour in teaching collectively with Bhalchandra Bhaskar Bhagwat (wrestling) and OM Nambiar (athletics), when it was launched in 1985. “He had been unwell for a lot of days with a whole lot of well being points and was hospitalised. Age was an element and there was additionally the shock of dropping his spouse about 10 days again,” T L Gupta, an in depth household good friend and a former boxing coach, advised PTI.

Bhardwaj was India’s nationwide boxing coach from 1968 to 1989 and likewise served as a nationwide selector. Beneath his tutelage, Indian pugilists received medals on the Asian Video games, the Commonwealth Video games and the South Asian Video games

 A pioneer in Indian boxing, he was the primary chief teacher for the game on the Nationwide Institute of Sports activities India in Patiala.

“He began his profession within the Military College of Bodily Coaching in Pune and have become an achieved coach for Companies. In 1975, when NIS got here up with the proposal for teaching diplomas, in boxing, Mr Bhardwaj was picked to begin the course,” Gupta mentioned.

In 2008, Bhardwaj had even taught some boxing strategies to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for a few months.

“He was a dynamic man. I bear in mind, in these days, when there have been no computer systems and hardly anybody knew sort, he purchased a typewriter from a visit to Russia,” Gupta mentioned.

“He would write letter after letter to authorities demanding higher facilities for boxers at NIS utilizing that typewriter. He typed with only one finger as a result of he had no formal coaching in typing,” remembered Gupta, who retired as chief teacher from the NIS a couple of years in the past.

Former nationwide federation secretary common Brigadier (Retd) PKM Raja, throughout whose tenure he was a nationwide selector, mentioned Bhardwaj was extremely revered for his contribution to the game.

“He was a companies legend. A really exceptional coach and likewise a really spectacular character. It’s unlucky that within the final couple of years his a number of well being points restricted him enormously,” he mentioned.

Gupta additionally mentioned that Bhardwaj had a fierce character which frequently got here to fore at any perceived ill-treatment of boxers.


“I bear in mind, after the 1980 Asian boxing championship within the then Bombay, the group was coming again with two gold, 5 silver, and three bronze medals. Their lodging on return to Patiala was less than it,” he mentioned.

“Mr Bhardwaj took it upon himself to battle for it with the authorities and ensured that boxers bought higher lodging. He gave path to the game at the moment,” he added.

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