Sports in Goa is more than just football. We have our own Boxing Star – Santosh Harijan
When there’s news of sports in Goa, it usually surrounds football. Yes football is Goa’s first love in the field of sports. But did you know that Goa also has a National Boxing Star? His Name is Santosh Harijan. He has won many medals and brought glory to both, Indian and his home town, Goa.
Mapusa born Santosh Harijan is a boxing sensation who lived a tough life. In spite of his financial condition, in spite of the poor training facilities for boxing in Goa, this 23 yr old, 49 kg flyweight, worked hard and worked his way through all of life’s challenges to emerge as a rising star in India’s Boxing scenario.
His medals and achievements are impressive. At the junior Asian championship in 2005 he won a Gold medal in the light flyweight category. He won two silver medals in the National Championships in 2009 and 2010. He also did well on the international arena. In 2017 he won a gold at the Challenge Cup in Sri Lanka and a bronze at the Memorial Cup in Kazakhstan. His biggest achievement came July this year when he won the bronze medal in the Giraldo Córdova Cardin memorial boxing tournament in Cuba.
Santosh Harijan also gave some great performances at his home town in Goa, itself. If you watched him in action at the newly inaugurated Boxing Hall, at Peddem, Mapusa In Novemeber 2014, He, Deva Naik and Anup Prasad booked the finals berths in the first Goan Invitation Boxing Championship for men organised by Goa Boxing Association. It was a special moment for his fans in Goa.
With so many wins in amateur boxing, it’s no surprise that he is now moving into professional boxing.
Here’s what he says about his childhood and how he practiced his boxing.
I was born in a small town called Mapusa in North Goa. Like other sportsmen coming from Goa, I also did not come from a rich family. In our town, very few people know about boxing. I joined the Mapusa Sports Complex and started my boxing career from there. Despite all the financial problems, my family always supported to me to take up boxing as a sport.
Santosh Harijan lives @ 74/LL/2, Dangy Colony, Altoo Mapusa. His facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/santosh.harijan.50
Here’s what he has to say about his childhood inspiration
As a kid, I was fascinated by watching boxing and always wanted to represent India in boxing. The secretary of the Goan Boxing Federation, Lene De Gama was a great help as he motivated me to choose boxing as a career and also provided financial assistance whenever required.
There was a rumor that he practiced by boxing on coconut trees. When asked about it here’s what he said:
Although we did lack proper training facilities but we did not practice by punching coconut trees. But it is true that me and my friends had to arrange for punching bags and used to practice by punching them in our local village