Madhavi Gonbare, a resident of Sakinaka, Mumbai, is only a 22-year-old but has won the gold medal in the World Amateur Chess Boxing Competition on July 29th, reports Mid Day.
Chess boxing is a high-octane sport, which combines chess, a cerebral board game, and boxing, a physical sport. The result is an exciting event in which competitors fight in alternate rounds of chess and boxing.
Founded by Dutch artist Lepe Rubingh in 2003, Chess Boxing was initially thought to be an art performance but quickly developed into a competitive sport.
This year, the competition, which was held in Kolkata, saw more than 100 participants from Russia, Finland, USA, Germany and other nations.
Madhavi has had a tough journey. Her mother works as a school peon, and finances are tight. Last year, when she participated in the competition for the first time, it was senior inspector Avinash Dharmadhikari at the Sakinaka Police Station, who came to her aid and paid the participation fees of Rs 30,000.
Later promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Dongri, the inspector did not forget the girl and continued to support her. This year, the cop took his efforts up a notch and raised the participation fees through donors.
Speaking to Mid Day, Madhavi said, “I am thrilled. The entire credit goes to Dharmadhikari sir, who helped me. That is how I won gold medals two years in a row.” She also thanked Saki Naka resident and social worker, Lavita Powell, who donated Rs 1.5 lakh in educational fees and boxing training.
Chess Boxing has been transforming the lives of girls in India, according to a report in News Deeply. The report quotes a headmistress of a Kolkata school who says that chess boxing has provided an alternative to domestic labour.
Well, hopefully for Mumbai’s Madhavi, it will help to create a bright future!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)