Thinley Namgay

Driven by her passion for boxing, Tandin Lhamo, 23, from Dagana, who is a student of Royal Thimphu College, opened a boxing studio in Thimphu recently.

As the first woman boxer in the country, she joined the Bhutan Boxing Federation in 2015 and participated in various national and international tournaments.

She won bronze medals from the South Asian Games and the first Indramaya Memorial Boxing Tournament in Nepal in  2019.

Sharing how she faced difficulty of living up to the expectations of her trainers and while undergoing training with male boxers since it is a male-dominated sport, Tandin Lhamo said her objective for opening the studio is to make boxing inclusive and encourage women to take up the sports.

“Boxing is a part of self-defence and it builds self-confidence,” she said. “Boxing makes me independent.”

Tandin Lhamo aspires to impart her skills to her enthusiasts and ensure they are physically and mentally fit. She also wants to generate employment for youth and inspire women.

She has 40 clients, mostly women, who undergo coaching for four hours daily in the evenings.

The second year college student pursuing Bachelor in Business Administration said she had to manage time for both studies and coaching. “But my studies would enhance my business in the long run.”

She said she dedicated all her time and energy to boxing. “I want to inspire young individuals and provide a platform to train and become successful boxers under my guidance.”

Besides boxing, Tandin is also into marathons and cycling, which she said compliments her boxing career.

According to her, boxing is fun, fulfilling and rewarding. “You will get beaten and lose your first sparring session. Your shoulders, body, and everything will hurt. You’ll be bruised and battered but you will enjoy it.”

Tandin Lhamo said it is important for parents to support their children’s dreams. “Children have different ambitions.”