THE Bulawayo Amateur Boxing Association (Baba) is appealing for funds to send a provincial team to the Zimbabwe Amateur Boxing Association’s (Zaba) National Championships set for Saturday in Chivhu.
Zaba had last week informed its affiliates that they are moving the tournament to November, but they have rescinded that decision, choosing instead to go ahead with the tournament on Saturday.
Baba vice-chairman Ezwell Ndlovu yesterday said they need $400 to cater for the provincial team made up of 12 boxers, two coaches and two officials.
“Bulawayo has been hosting monthly tournaments preparing for the ultimate amateur tournament, which marks the end of the season. Zaba has caught us by surprise by reverting to the original tournament date. We had been planning with the mid-November date in mind and the promises we were getting were good, but now that Zaba has said the tournament is on this weekend, we need $400 for transport. We’re appealing to well-wishers and the corporate world to assist us,” said Ndlovu.
Bulawayo provincial boxing coach Mike Folomi is confident the boxers they have selected will bring home medals from Chivhu.
The men’s team is made up of Samson Masiyambumbi of Nketa, who has represented the country at regional tournaments, the Lobengula duo of Lancelot Moyo and Wiseman Tshuma, Martin Dlodlo of Percy Ibbotson, Moses Moyo (Lobengula), Brighton Masiyambumbi (Nketa), Zibusiso Nyoni (Nketa), Mthulisi Dube (Sikhulile) and Young Arts’ Lionel Green.
Sibusisiwe Khumalo of Lobengula and the Sikhulile High School duo of Bridget Ncube and Princess Nkomo make up the women’s side.
“Most of our boxers are juniors and we expect to win most medals. We’ve prepared hard for the tournament and the boxers are ready to make the city proud,” said Foloma.
Budding pugilists from the country’s 10 provinces will converge in Chivhu to trade leather at a tournament traditionally used to select promising boxers for future national teams.
After missing out on the African Games, Zaba intends to nurture budding pugilists that will compete at next year’s Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games set for Angola.
Senior national amateur boxing coach Mphilisi Moyo said it was time to move from a scenario where players are handpicked for major events as it contributed to underdevelopment of the sport.
“We’ve been monitoring some boxers for a while and this is the time to identify boxers that we can develop for future national team assignments. I believe that the first step is to make sure that we have sound junior teams that can fly the country’s flag high at next year’s AUSC Under-20 Games.
“As Zaba, we’ve moved away from a situation where boxers are handpicked based on past experience, meaning that everyone who attends the national championships will have an equal chance to prove their worth to selectors,” said Moyo.