RATHER shocking for a former nationwide boxing coach… he by no means held boxing gloves throughout his teenage or military days… Not as a aggressive boxer, however he later proved his combating mettle just by studying and watching and growing the youthful era.
That is the superb tribute to Thangavalu “Golden Arrow” Balasundram, who handed on Thursday. He actually rose as a no one however was hailed over how he mentored lots of of youthful boxers, who adored the way in which he coached the elementaries of the martial artwork. He was 66 years.
“He fought it out till the very finish, true to his popularity as a fighter who coached so many children to succeed in the highest of their sporting commerce,” says his daughter Druga Devi, 43, as her father was “very pleased with his achievements as he coached Singapore’s group on the Youth Olympic Video games in 2010”.
He died in his Yishun residence together with his spouse Vasantha and daughters Durga Devi and Gaiyathri by his facet. He was identified with kidney most cancers about 30 months in the past after which mind most cancers final yr.
“We are going to miss him. He was a traditional position mannequin for the household and at all times encouraging everybody to provide off their finest and to his trainees, he was cheering up individuals round him. As a household, we’re very pleased with the legacy he has left behind for the game in Singapore,” she provides.
Durga Devi says: “We knew his time was up simply his weary eyes, this week, with the message that he was going peacefully. He gave his finest shot in no matter he undertook, and that will likely be certainly one of his boxing and household hallmarks.”
The Singapore Novice Boxing Affiliation (Saba), the place Balasundram served as Vice-President until he stepped down in 2020, paid tribute on social media: “Certainly one of our long-time boxing coach father determine has simply handed away.”
True to his nickname, “Golden Arrow”, which is a Tamil translation from his father’s identify Thangavalu, he continued in providing one of the best recommendation as a boxing coach, and he was an everyday face on the Farrer Park boxing gymnasium, as soon as the house of Singapore boxing.
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I keep in mind him within the late Nineteen Nineties as a sports activities journalist, at all times a humble character and patiently mentoring the youthful era. He by no means sought private glory, however patiently tutored his subordinates. One who rose up the ranks was flyweight Hanurdeen Hamid, who clinched bronze medals on the 2017 and 2019 SEA Video games.
Hanurdeen, 28, took up the game when he was 13, says to The Straits Occasions: “He was a father determine to these he skilled. I may at all times go and communicate to him about something that was happening in my private life. He would inform me to not fear and he would at all times make me really feel like I may overcome something out and in of the ring.”
Former Olympic Video games boxer and President of the Singapore Novice Boxing Affiliation (Saba) Syed Abdul Kadir, 74, acknowledged that Balasundram was a “uncommon breed of coaches who learnt his expertise from textbooks and by watching the regional finest boxers”. He added: “He was quiet-spoken and supplied his recommendation on the proper time and place, few would have thrived in his footwear and I consider the nickname “Golden Arrow” befitted him.”
“How shall I personally describe him? He has mentored and skilled many younger boxers and it’s a nice loss for Singapore boxing. I need to admit he was a very humorous man and actually cared concerning the boxers beneath his cost.”
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I personally recollect Balasundram telling me when requested how he realized concerning the boxing commerce crafts, he replied actually: “I learn books, Suresh, I learn numerous boxing books and likewise watched the highest boxers around the globe.” Going by the e book, his voracious studying behavior was important to launching his history-making sporting profession.
Balasundram’s physique will likely be cremated on the Mandai Crematorium on Friday night.
He will likely be missed very a lot by household and mates and extra importantly, remembered for upgrading his combating mettle just by studying and watching and growing the youthful era.
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