This weekend women’s amateur boxing finally gets its dues – and there is something you can do to help spread the story of these pioneers.
As I wrote here, it’s been 108 years since boxing made its debut as a demonstration sport at the St Louis Games but the women have finally arrived. Canadian film-makers Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian have followed three Indian fighters since 2006, charting their attempts first to fight and then to make London2012.
Mary Kom pic IBN LIveYou will may recognise one of them – Mary Kom, with her five World Titles at 46kgs. But the other two are no laggards either, Chhoto Loura has two bronze medals (world) at 50kgs and Sarita Devi is a five-time Asian champion at 51kgs.
It’s been a difficult journey as the Olympic categories didn’t really fit with their natural fighting weights – Kom comes to London in the 51kgs category. And Devi boxed at 60gs at the World Championships in May in a qualifying attempt which ultimately failed.
And no less difficult for the film-makers. We’ve been in touch since I first posted about them in July 2010, Ameesha sent me the latest on their funding efforts yesterday:
“Our story ends at the Olympics where Mary Kom will be competing and could be the first Indian woman ever to win a gold medal. So it’s exciting times. Co-director/Cinematographer Anna Sarkissian is in Liverpool at the moment with Mary Kom for her final days of training.
We launched an online campaign to help raise money to pay for post-production so we can get this completed and out there.
We have 22 more days to raise $17,500 and could use all the help we could get. Our fundraising campaign is hosted by Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site.
We are also huge fans of Katie Taylor, have had the pleasure of watching her compete since 2006. After seeing her at the Worlds in Qinhuangdao, I think they should just give her the gold, she was light years ahead of her competition! “
I love the Katie Taylor mention, very gracious of you Ameesha! So if you’re gutted not to be in London and want to see more women’s boxing on the screen, go to Indiegogo It’s worth a look even just for the sponsor-package titles.
Why have they done this?
Ameesha Joshi: “India has some of the best women boxers in the world. They have risen to the top from very humble circumstances. Although I grew up in Canada, my parents emigrated from India and I’m aware of the cultural expectations and could imagine some of the criticism these woman would’ve faced. We knew we had found some extraordinary trailblazers.”
Anna Sarkissian: “They are so unique, and yet unassuming. For a long time, they didn’t really understand why we were interested in filming them. Despite a few perks, they live tough lives, and train in difficult conditions to pursue a sport that many might consider laughable. I have profound respect for the amount of discipline, physical and mental strength that boxing requires and am in awe of their dedication.”
They can be contacted directly through their website: With This Ring