A FORTNIGHT ago, October 24, 2015, to be precise, I went down memory lane and I recalled a January 28, 2012 piece titled ‘Youth: Future of boxing’ which was published in this column.
I had been inspired by a Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation television news clip showing young boys sweating it out on the punch bags and sparring at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka.
According to the accompanying report, the boys were taken from the streets of the capital and introduced to boxing as a way to keep them away from criminal activities and mischief.
I said though I couldn’t recall whose initiative it was, any effort aimed at identifying and tapping of talent from among the youth was commendable because it makes a statement about the vision of the proponents of the idea.
This week, I am compelled yet again to return to the topic I dealt with two weeks ago in a piece “How About schools boxing?” This follows a November 3 edition of The Post report that Exodus Boxing Stables of Lusaka dominated the Samsung Midlands Amateur Boxing Tournament staged at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka.
According to the report, something of a rejoinder or feedback to my two-week old piece, Committee member Christian Kalima said such tournaments were important for talent identification. Ten teams around Lusaka took part in the one-day tournament and boxers from Anthony Mwamba’s stable excelled with 51 points.
Olympia Africa were placed in second position with 48 points followed by Youth Amory in third position with 39 points, while Green Buffaloes and Zambia National Service (ZNS) settled for 21 points in fourth position.
Others were Rising Hope with 18 points, Red Arrows and Club MK Matero collected 12 points apiece, per The Post. Evergreen, big guys Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions and Nkhwazi boxers secured three points each.
I congratulate Exodus and all the other clubs on their performances and for taking part in this important tournament. The sponsors Samsung also deserve commendation for their support to a sport that is always in dire need of financial backing and I hope others will emulate them.
What lessons can we draw from these results? Apart from Exodus, the second and third best performers- Olympia Africa and Youth Amory- are relatively unknown quantities in terms of name recognition in the sport.
But there they were, piping big guns like Oriental (who like Exodus) are better known for professional rather than amateur boxing. Green Buffaloes and ZNS, though fairly big names in the sport were equally overshadowed by Olympia Africa and Youth Amory.
This speaks volumes about what a blind search for talent can bring forth. Try to imagine if Samsung replicated this tournament in other parts of the country. Perhaps the results would be something of a
lottery because you never can be sure where the latent talent lies until it is exposed through such tournaments.
Research shows that Samsung Electronics’ Corporate Social Responsibility philosophy is to leverage its legacy of technology innovation to change communities and human life, and “to offer new opportunities to more people…” Based on this philosophy, the company established three strategic directions for pursuing corporate citizenship in 2010.
According to its website, in 2011, Samsung integrated various social contribution activities which have been conducted in different regions into a single programme titled ‘Samsung Hope for Children’.
Focused on supporting good health and education of children and youth, Samsung subsidiaries in different regions conducted various support programmes including youth education support, low-income youth health benefits and job trainings, tailored for needs of the youth and children of respective local communities.
The same year, Samsung Hope for Children programme activities were conducted in 30 countries in nine different regions. The company plans to expand the programme to 55 countries including Turkey, Malaysia, Canada and more.
As the company is steadily setting its footprint in Zambia with its advanced technological products, would it be too much to ask them to consider extending their support for amateur boxing, which has started with Lusaka, to the rural parts of Zambia?
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