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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 18:23 UK

MC Mary Kom, India

World Class 2012 in partnership with the British Council bring you the stories of the schools where the dreams begin.

St Xavier's School is twinning with Methodist College in Belfast and Loktak Christian Model School is twinning with Ballykeel Primary in Ballymena, Northern Ireland

MC Mary Kom goes back to school with BBC World Class

MC Mary Kom is a female boxer from Manipur, who in 2010 clinched her fifth successive World Amateur boxing gold.

London 2012 will be Mary Kom's first Olympic Games, as women's boxing is introduced as an event for the first time.

MC Mary Kom's schools

Map of Manipur and Imphal

Mary Kom didn't start boxing until she left school in 2000. She attended Loktak Christian Model High School up to the age of 11, then spent two years at St. Xaviers, both on the outskirts of the state capital, Imphal.

Mary Kom moved into the centre of Imphal for her high school years, before taking up boxing.

Manipur is a remote mountainous state on Burma's border and this year it has been the site of ongoing separatist insurgency.

Loktak Christian Model School

A class at Loktak during MC Mary Kom's visit

Loktak Christian Model School is some 40 km outside of the Manipur state capital, Imphal.

MC Mary Kom attended over 15 years ago and the staff have changed but the Principal, Mr. Vanlacchuanga, says the schools is "proud of all her achievements."

Mr. Vanlacchuanga spoke openly to us about the ongoing political unrest within the region. "Life is in a state of confusion at the moment and it is hard for the pupils not to be affected," he said.

Yet he told us that the circumstances they find themselves in has only heightened their determination to accomplish great things.

"The schools academic achievements have improved year on year," he says and Mr. Vanlacchuanga is looking for that to continue, thanks to the hard work and commitment of the pupils and staff.

St Xavier's School

MC Mary Kom was outstanding at all sports... she is our role model
Headteacher, Ashuli Phimu Mao SJ

St Xavier's is located in a semi-urban area near Kangathei Village where MC Marykom was born.

2012 is not only a big year for St Xavier's because MC Mary Kom will be competing in the Olympics, but it marks the school's Silver Jubilee.

St Xavier's headteacher, Ashuli Phimu Mao SJ, has promised the school that if India are successful in the Olympics, they will celebrate in style.

"If India, particularly Mary Kom gets a gold medal, we will declare a holiday," he said.

We are sure pupils and teachers at St Xavier's will keep him to his word.

World Olympic Dreams

MC Mary Kom is one of the athletes being tracked as London 2012 approaches and they strive to make their Olympic dreams a reality.

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see also
Women in boxing over the years
28 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
'Magnificent Mary' aims for London knock-out
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Tom Daley introduces World Class 2012
27 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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