With Samuel Lukhanda –
NEWS of the Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) failing to send our amateur boxers for the Zone Four tournament in Angola epitomizes what is wrong with sports administration in Zambia.
The ZBF failed to raise K190, 000 to send boxers to our next door hosts for them to garner the much needed points for classification by the mother body AIBA. This tournament was supposed to be a stepping stone to the continental championships in Congo Brazzaville.
What was more concerning to me was the ease with which the association and the Ministry of Sport just killed off the trip citing financial reasons.
The minister is on record telling associations to source for funding from the corporate world rather than depend on Government hand outs. That is as it should be but it is not very practical in a country like ours.
Firstly, boxing has for years been engulfed in internal administration squabbles such that it has lost the allure to attract companies to partner with them in such a cause.
Secondly, this is amateur boxing and the practice worldwide is that central governments fund such activities that is the reason it is doing big at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
In Zambia, these boxers remain the brightest medal hope at these sporting events. We need to invest more in them because they do not gobble up the same colossal amount of money like soccer which the minister said had depleted the resources in his ministry.
Football has never experienced such funding hiccups because no matter what the situation money will be found for our national teams to fulfil their international fixtures.
The results have not always marched the resources channelled into the sport but at no point have they been told there was no money.
The ministry should be fair in sharing the national cake among these sports associations . Special attention should be given to those struggling associations with massive potential to reap us medals at these international games.
What needs to be understood is that these amateur boxers usually come from difficult situations and this sport keeps them on the straight line. You take away one thing that keeps these kids off the bad vices they end up in worse situations. The fight sport is for the hard nose lads some with some troubled past.
If you critically look at the neighbourhood where we draw our amateur boxers from, you will realise they are low income areas. They are on the margins of our society and this is a one way ticket out of there. So do not throw them under a moving bus and kill their dreams.
Instead try to help them realise it.
While we are at it, let us also pay attention to the golfers as well. They have been flying under the radar for so long.
Considering the amount of resources pumped into the some of these events by local firms. We should not shy away from demanding the same type of success from these golfers.
The performance of our golfers leaves a lot to be desired as they continue to struggle to compete with the foreigners who come for these tournaments which are expensively staged.
Zambian golfers need to step up their game.
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