25 Oct 2016 13:20pm
OPUWO, 25 OCT (NAMPA) Organisers of a boxing tournament slated for this weekend in Opuwo in the Kunene Region are adamant that the event will go ahead as planned, despite boxers reportedly being unfit for the ring.
Kunene Boxing Federation chairperson, Chris Kangoronduezu on Sunday told Nampa that boxing in the region is failing to take off formally due to a lack of interest from community members to support the sport.
He noted that the local office of the Ministry of Youth, Sport and National Service has also failed to materially support the sport.
This scenario has forced boxers in Opuwo to use public ablution facilities at the Norman Katuta soccer stadium as a training venue.
Kangoronduezu told Nampa some of the boxers in the region have only been in the ring once for training, which he said is not enough to attain fitness.
He put the blame for their struggles on the line ministry and its alleged unsupportive attitude.
When we approach the sports directorate for assistance, we are always turned away, he said.
This sentiment was echoed by Opuwo Boxing Academy instructor, Raban Shifa who told this agency they have approached the ministry to request assistance with a training venue, but all their efforts have been in vain.
Sports officer in Kunene, John Kakondo however rubbished all allegations against the ministry, noting that the directorate has been supporting boxing activities by assisting with transportation of boxers from Outjo and Sesfontein, as well as paying some of the expenses such as subsistence and travel allowances for drivers during such events.
It was only this time when they approached us that I said the money we are left with is earmarked for the acquisition of sport equipment for other sport codes in the region. We won't be able to assist them this time, he said.
Shifa is however optimistic that the tournament will take place on Saturday as planned at the Opuwo Community Hall.
About 25 amateur boxers from the Kunene, Oshana and Khomas regions are expected to take part.
Shifa said the boxers will use the event to prepare for national championships slated for next year.
He said the tournament is billed to take place three times a year, but due to financial problems this was not possible this year.
Opuwo-based Manchester Bar are the only tournament sponsor, after they injected N.dollars 5 000 into the event.