FIFTEEN countries have so far confirmed their participation in the World Boxing Council (WBC) Officials Training Seminar and the African Boxing Union (ABU) Convention slated for the resort town of Victoria Falls later this month.
President Mnangagwa is also expected to officially open the event which is expected to draw a total 120 delegates from boxing commissions affiliated to both the WBC and its ABU subsidiary.
The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board chief executive officer, Lawrence Zimbudzana, yesterday said an inter-ministerial committee had since been set up to look into logistical and other requirements ahead of Zimbabwe’s biggest ever gathering of boxing minds.
The Ministries include Sport, Youth, Arts and Recreation, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Tourism and Hospitality Industry. The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services will be responsible for accreditation of foreign journalists.
Zimbabwe was given the green light to concurrently host the two events following WBC’s vice-president Houicine Houichi’s satisfaction in the great strides the country has so far made in the upliftment of boxing.
He confirmed the coming of the two mega events to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Zambia, Commissioner Charity Charamba, on the sidelines of a WBC title contest between Catherine Phiri and Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire on February 26.
The latter won the match and was declared the interim world super-bantamweight champion, becoming the first Zimbabwean female pugilist to attain such a feat.
Over the past three years, Zimbabwe has been able to produce two World Boxing Organisation Africa champions and ultimately, a WBC belt holder in Chiwandire.
Meanwhile, as a precursor to the July 25-27 WBC seminar and the July 29-30 ABU Convention, the ZNBWCB last weekend held a Level 1 coaches training workshop at St Patrick’s Hotel in Bulawayo that had 43 participants taking part.
Matabeleland South had the highest number at 15, with women (historically unknown to actively take part in combat sports) making good representation.
Facilitated by renowned South African coach, Manny Fernandes, the key objectives of the training was to improve the competences and capacities of local coaches.
“After the training, the first such for boxing in this country, the thrust and immediate objective now is to make sure that the trained will go out to their respective areas of operation and start establishing boxing clubs.
“On the other hand, we will replenish our data base in as far as coaching is concerned because that has been affecting our operations in that area. Its one thing to call oneself a coach and another to be a trained one . . . we aspire to bridge that divide and close the knowledge gap.
“Coaching is a profession and people should acquire the requisite and necessary training to apply such principles as philosophy, physiology, body anatomy, issues of nutrition, weight management, body moves and safety because all these are pertinent when it comes to this sport.
“Overally, investment and capacity development are very critical if we are to attain goals and the vision we may have in the development of the sport of boxing in the country,” Zimbudzana said. Herald