Manipur: Arambam Boby -Bodybuilding Champion
Arambam Boby- Bodybuilding Champion. Bobby was born on February 1, 1975. He lost his father late Mr. Arambam Ibomcha when he was only two years old. His mother, Mrs Arambam Ongbi Dushumati Devi, struggled to raise her six children, and worked hard so that her children could go to school.
This story of struggle is similar to that of many sports personalities in India, and many of them often give up due to financial constraints. However, Bobby and his family persevered against all odds.
Bobby did whatever odd jobs came his way to earn some money so that he could get the proper nutrition that was necessary for bodybuilding. He also loved other sports like gymnastics, football, taekwondo and athletics.
In 1993, he saw the silver lining and applied to the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Group Centre, which was recruiting two players. Bobby got a job as a constable in Sports Quota and worked there for more than 2 years.
During his time at SSB, Bobby practiced outside the campus at the Manipur University grounds. One of those days, Bobby’s sister’s friend saw him working out and suggested he go to the gym because he was in good shape. Bobby started going to the gym without telling the authorities. He found his purpose in bodybuilding, and moved on.
Bobby began his bodybuilding journey under his first trainer Khairam Yeskol Singh, who was passionate about the sport. According to Bobby, most of the bodybuilding equipment at the gym was made from discarded car parts and bamboo.
Within two months of joining the gym, Bobby participated and won the 1995 North East Bodybuilding Championship in Jorhat. However, the railway authorities came to know about his body building, and he faced difficulties in getting leave to attend the events. However, luck smiled on him again when he received the support of a direct commandant, who allowed him to continue bodybuilding. Later, Bobby won the Junior National Championship in 1996 and participated in the Asian Championship in the same year, finishing fourth.
After working in Kolkata for 12 years, in 2009 Bobby shifted his base to Guwahati, North East Frontier Railway or NF Railway, and embarked on a new journey in bodybuilding. In 2010, Bobby competed in the World Bodybuilding Championships in Banaras in the 75 kg category. After winning the title Arambam Boby- Bodybuilding Champion. It was the first of his seven medals at the international stage.
After all these achievements, Bobby reflects on how difficult the journey was as he received hardly any support from the government. Participating in international competitions is expensive, and without the support of the authorities, athletes in India are not able to fulfill their dreams.
Another important aspect that Bobby highlighted is diet. Even basic food cost him at least Rs. 18,000-20,000 per month for eggs, chicken and supplements. He could not afford these expenses regularly, and often friends helped him. Thus, Bobby urged the government to continue to support the athletes in their endeavours.