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Friday, 10 May 2013 13:44

Ranini Cundasawmy – The Muay Thai Champion

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Her pathway is that of a frail girl who transformed into a strong fighter in every sense of the way. Sensible and shy by nature, Ranini Cundasawmy did not let her weaknesses take precedence over her life. After her college studies, Ranini started practising kick-boxing for a year.
When she met her husband Partick Cundasawmy, she began practising Boxe Française. Ranini became a female boxer and in 2006 she won the female champion title in ‘boxe française savate’. In 2010, the young woman was introduced to Muay Thai and her life changed. For two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), Ranini won the title of Mauritius National Muay Thai Champion. News on Sunday met the passionate female fighter.

SINCE HER YOUNG AGE Ranini had a hidden passion for sports. She used to follow her dad when he went to his sports and karate practices. Hailing from a family of six, life was hard for Ranini and her family. After obtaining her Higher School Certificate (HSC) she wanted to pursue her tertiary studies at the University of Mauritius but due to her family’s financial problems she was not able to do so. At the age of 19, the young woman started working as a pharmacy helper and at the same time she joined a fitness club and started practising kick-boxing for a year. In 2002, she took a new job as chat animator at Toolink Crm ltd. 

There, as destiny willed it – she met with the man who became both her trainer and her husband. When Ranini met with Patrick, the latter encouraged her to join him and start practising ‘Boxe Française Savate’. Since then, the life of the young woman changed drastically. The shy and sensible girl transformed into a stronger person. “I was always timid, sensible and fragile. I could not express myself properly.

I could cry at the most little matter but when I started boxing, my life changed. I changed. I was no more that girl whom every one could walk on. Partick became my coach, my nutritionist and he managed my schedule. He encouraged me a lot,” she told us. In 2005, Ranini began her training to go for tournaments. A year later she successfully won the Jeux de l’Ouest Female Champion title in Boxe Française Savate. Thanks to the financial support of her family, friends, sponsors and Samaritans Ranini was able to compete for international fights.

The couple got married in 2008 and founded their boxing club named BMA Sports. At the beginning they did not have a proper location and members were trained on the streets. However in 2010 she found a location at the Social Welfare Centre at Bambous and in the same year, she discovered Muay Thai. “Patrick and I started our voyage into the Muay Thai world. It was introduced to Mauritius by Berty d’Eau of the ‘Federation de Muay Thai et Diciplines Assimilees (FMTDA)’. It was a great opportunity and discovery for us.” Ranini transformed into a real fighter. Her trainings became harder and more often and she embarked on a career as a female Muay Thai fighter. In the year 2010-2012 Ranini competed for several Muay Thai Competitions and Boxe Française. In December 2012, history was made, as the first ever Muay Thai mix fight Male vs Female was held in Mauritius, opposing Ranini to Teddy Arlanda.

“This fight was the hardest one I’ve ever done. It was intense. After the fight I had no energy left. I was drained out. But my level had gone up and it was the best experience I ever had. It was also the best reward as I won the fight,” she said happily. This year, Ranini has already been on the ring three times. In March, she won the Mauritius National Muay Thai Championship Final against Cloe Jean, in April she won the Semi Final and the Final of the Taekwondo Championship 2013 and just two weeks earlier, she was at Rodrigues for a friendly fight against Anne-Jelina Begue.

Muay Thai – A way of living
Muay Thai is a physical and mental discipline. It is a combat sport from the Muay martial arts of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. For Ranini the Muay Thai fight displays a lot of respect. “The fight begins with salutation. We ask our opponent for his/her approval to fight. A lot of self-control is needed during the fight. One should not be over powered by his/her anger. All your emotions must be controlled,” she told us. 

To be able to do so, Ranini joined the Brahma Kumari in April last year. “I was always very stressed before any competition. This had adverse effect on my physical condition and my performance. There I learned how to canalise my energies. They aided me spiritually and mentally and since then I feel way better. Even my gastric problems have disappeared,” Ranini gladly confided.

However, the image of the tough and sporty woman that Ranini projects is different from reality. On the contrary that everyone may think, she lives a normal life like any woman. “I like cooking, eating, dancing, shopping, going to beauty parlour. I take care of my house and my little dog. I am a complete woman,” she exclaimed. But Ranini cannot get enough of her passion. She loves combat sports and needs this constant training in her daily life. “At the beginning I wanted to do it to prove that I am capable but now I want it to become my profession.

I do not train for the title but for my performance,” she claimed. Ranini trains six days a week and more when she prepares for competitions but does not hide that being an athlete or sports man/woman is costly. But given her strong will to succeed she keeps on training to achieve her goal. When she is not training, the promising fighter is helping her husband in his work as video producer. The undefeated and current Mauritius National Muay Thai Female Champion is actually looking forward international fights and a career in Boxe Française Savate and Muay Thai.

Last but not least, Ranini provides free Muay Thai courses for Women and Kids at Social Welfare Centre Bambous on Thursdays from 16:45 to 18:05. “Muay Thai has brought positive changes in the lives of my little students. They have cultivated a certain value and respect. They think more straight, they learn and assimilate things more quick and the mind is constantly working.”

Ranini is also marvelled by the kids. “They like to see me practise my fights. They feel inspired by me and want to follow in my footstep. This boosts me a lot.” The female fighter advises women to practice any sports they like even for a few minutes a day. “I believe that women should dedicate a few minutes to themselves every day. Be it a mental or physic activity. And sports will help them master their character and they will become stronger.

This will assist them in every realm of their lives. Their health will also be much better. But the most important thing is to have the support of your family.” For those who want to make a career in Muay Thai or start practicing it, “it is never too late” Ranini uttered. “Whatever you physical condition or age, Muay Thai is open to everyone. Women have an extraordinary power that they are unaware of. They must exploit their potential and have faith in themselves.”



Jameela Jaddoo

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