Assam CM, BFI chief unveil AIBA women’s event mascot

Assam’s famed one-horned rhino was unveiled as the official mascot of the 2017 AIBA Youth Women’s World Boxing Championship in a glittering ceremony in Guwahati on Monday.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh also released the official event logo and anthem to mark the countdown to AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship, being hosted by BFI for the first time. The event at Guwahati is slated from 19 to 26 November.

The Chief Minister was particularly keen that the boxers and the visiting dignitaries experienced the rich cultural and aesthetic heritage of Assam while also enjoying the State’s picturesque natural beauty and spectacular wildlife.

The official mascot, anointed Guppy, is a female version of Assam’s one-horned rhino. It has been chosen as it’s a symbol of strength and endurance, something that Indian women are known for, traits that are also synonymous with the game of boxing, a BFI Press release said.

The logo infuses two key elements: The strength of an Indian woman in the form of a female boxer and the culture of Assam through the ‘gamosa’, a much-cherished hand-woven piece of cloth in the state. It has cleverly integrated the national flag’s three main hues – saffron, green and white – too.

The World Championship official anthem, ‘Make Some Noise’, proved to be an instant hit with those present, including the entire Indian contingent, its Performance Director Bergamasco Raffaele and head coach Bhaskar Bhatt.

“I must thank the Chief Minister and the Government of Assam for their amazing support to this championship,” BFI President Ajay Singh said. “Some of India’s best boxers come from this part of our country and Assam has always been a pillar of support, graciously hosting major boxing tournaments,” he added.

 The Government of Assam has upgraded the infrastructure and has created a world-class arena, top of the line changing and locker rooms and a modern gymnasium, including increased sitting capacity among other things. The 20-member strong Indian squad was also felicitated at the ceremony.

“These young women are our future world champions. They have trained very hard and I am confident that they will make the country proud,” BFI President Ajay Singh said.

Close to 200 participants in the 16-17-year age group from 38 countries will be seen in action in this knockout tournament. The preliminaries will take place from November 19 to 22, the semi-finals on November 24 and 25 and the finals on November 26. As many as 176 bouts in 10 different weight categories are on the cards, with 40 medals (10 Gold, 10 Silver, 20 Bronze) on the line. The boxers can also hope to book a few quota berths for the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

 The Opening Ceremony is scheduled to take place on November 19 at the Maulana Mohd. Tayebulla Hockey Stadium. The anthem “Make Some Noise” composed by Shaan and rendered by renowned singer Sunidhi Chauhan, has been penned keeping in mind the attributes of today’s Indian woman, who is strong, independent, ambitious, and resilient.

 “It has been my privilege to work with the BFI Creative team on the Anthem for the Women’s World Youth Boxing Championships. The challenge was to convey the message of positivity and also drive it into a catchy singalong anthem. Kunwar Juneja’s lyrics set the tone and Sunidhi Chauhan’s voice took the song to the next level. I am looking forward to the championships and hope that our anthem makes a lot of noise,” Shaan, celebrated singer and composer of the anthem, said.