Gangtok: Nine-year-old twins Sagar Lepcha and Sajan Lepcha bagged medals at the National Junior and Sub-Junior Muay Thai Championship 2019 held last month in Guwahati, Assam.
While Sagar won a gold medal, Sajan bagged a silver in the 26-kg weight category for the 9 to 10-age group players.
Earlier this year, Sagar and Sajan had bagged gold and silver medals, respectively, in the Northeast Muay Thai Championship held at Dentam in West Sikkim.
According to their Coach Dawgyal Lepcha, they embraced Muay Thai to escape their poverty – whether it means punching a cement bag filled with sand or kicking a proper punching bag under the watchful eyes of their mentor.
The twins hail from a family with limited resources. They reside in Bermoik Berthang, located on the opposite hill of Geyzing town in West Sikkim. Their parents earn their livelihood with casual work in the village and the twins study in the local Lower Bermoik Government School.
Their lives changed when Mauy Thai player Dawgyal Lepcha (22), also their neighbour, spotted the potential of the twins in martial arts. He took them under his wings to further groom their combating skills in Muay Thai.
“I could see their talent and wanted to support them. They hail from a poor family and I wanted the kids to do well in future. So, I took them under me and started training them. They along with other kids train daily with me in the morning and evening hours,” said Dawgyal, an established Muay Thai player. He is also a member of the Muay Thai Association of Sikkim (MTAS).
Dawgyal proved correct in his assessment when his training enabled the twins to make a winning debut at the Northeast Muay Thai Championship held in Dentam. He further intensified their training for the national junior and sub-junior championship in Guwahati which was participated by a contingent of MTAS representing Sikkim.
Dawgyal was the coach of the Sikkim team.
The Sikkim contingent won four gold medals and five silver. Among the winners were the twins.
“Both Sagar and Sajan have the potential to do well in future in Muay Thai. We are planning to find sponsors so that the twins can be sent for international championship in coming days. They need support at this juncture,” said their mentor.
At the moment, a couple of pictures showing the twins kicking a cement bag filled with sand have generated a lot of attention on social media. It appears that Sajan and Sagar are passionate about Muay Thai and punching-kicking whatever they can lay their hands and feet on.
Dawgyal shared that the twins had rustled up the sand bag for practice while he was out of village for some days. “They had done that when I was out for some days. In other times, they practice daily under me and are given the training materials that I have like punching bags and protective gear. I have all the gear,” he said.