LAHORE: The 36th National Men’s and the First National Women’s Boxing Championships will be held at WAPDA Sports Complex here from January 20 to 24 under the aegis of WAPDA Sports Board, in collaboration with the Pakistan Boxing Federation. Women boxers will be vying for the top honours for the first time in the history of the National Boxing Championships when its 36th edition begins today. As many as 15 teams will participate in the men’s championship – WAPDA, Army, Navy, Air Force, Railways, KPT, K-Electric, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Islamabad, AJ&K, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. The men’s competitions will be held in 10 weight categories: 46, 52, 56, 60, 64, 69, 75, 81, 91 and 91+ kilogrammes. With a view to popularise boxing amongst women folk, the women’s championship is being organised for the first time, wherein 24 women players from the provinces and associations will compete in three weight categories of 51, 60 and 75 kilogrammes. Pakistan Boxing Federation president Khalid Mahmood said Friday that all four provinces had confirmed they would be sending women teams to the event but they were still waiting for departmental teams to confirm the women pugilists. “A number of women boxers will be able to show their skill and talent,” Khalid, also the secretary general of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), said. “The provinces have confirmed 24 women competitors and once the departments finalise their entries, that figure would rise. “This will hopefully be the turning point for women’s boxing in the country,” he added. “The event will provide them with the platform to go further and represent the country at international level and with better coaching and facilities win medals.” The opening ceremony of the championships will be held on Friday (today). Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) President Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hassan will be the chief guest while WAPDA Chairman and WAPDA Sports Board Pattern-in-Chief Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (rd) will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony scheduled to be held on January 24.Published in Daily Times, January 20th 2018.