Thai prisons seek boxing reform

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Women boxers battle it out in Thailand's most revered and violent sport, Muay Thai. But this is no ordinary match and the fighters are no ordinary women.

Bangkok:

Women boxers battle it out in Thailand's most revered and violent sport, Muay Thai. But this is no ordinary match and the fighters are no ordinary women. Despite the carnival atmosphere, the bout is taking place in one of Thailand's infamous prisons and the fighters are convicted felons. Already breaking taboo by allowing women to box, Thai prisons are challenging their notorious reputation as death traps for inmates and this initiative is the latest attempt by the Department of Corrections to spread a little cheer among the more than 250,000 prisoners across the country. "Thai boxing training for inmates will enable them to get a job after their release because we want them to be in the professional Thai boxing after their release," said Nathee Chitsawang, Director General, Prison, Thailand. 'Femme fatale' Giving new meaning to the term 'femme fatale', these inmates receive weekly lessons from professional trainers like 22-year-old Nicole Carter from England who also participated in this tournament. However, unlike the professional boxing circuit in Thailand, the material rewards are small for the prison fighters, which include instant noodles and a T-shirt. But correction officials are confident about expanding the programme into a fully-fledged business. In the meantime, prisoners say the training will give them a fighting chance of making a career when they get parole.

Topics : Boxing
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