BY ADRIAN MWANZA –
ACTING Sports minister Vincent Mwale has commended the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) for picking Zambia as host for the 2017 year-of-Africa boxing development programme that will see close to 100 coaches, referees and judges trained.
Mwale said the training of national federation coaches, referees, judges and other technical officials would raise the standards of boxing management in the country.
He said this when he officiated at the at the AIBA 2017Year-of-Africa boxing development programme that started at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka on Friday.
Mwale urged the participants in the various courses to take the training seriously and that Government expected a marked change in the management of the sport.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the president of AIBA Dr Ching-Ku Wu through his representative for choosing Zambia as one of the five African hubs for the year of Africa 2017,” he said.
He said statistics had revealed that the African continent despite having more than fourty national federations had been under-represented in AIBA competitions.
“African representation has only been a paltry six per cent while Europe has an overwhelming 56% representation,” he said.
Mwale commended AIBA for coming up with the programme in a bid to address the poor state of boxing in the country and the continent.
He also said the quest to remedy this situation lay in the individual African federations who needed to go an extra mile by introducing the sport of boxing in all the corners of the continent.
And AIBA head of Year-of-Africa project Jean Jerome Perrin Mortier said the world body was proud to be part of the initiative and that only four countries in Africa were part of this project.
“Zambia is among the few countries that we are having this event and next year we are going to be in the Caribbean,” he said.
Zambia Boxing Federation (ZBF) president Kennedy Mubita said he was humbled to see Zambia as a chosen country for the event adding the country was a hub for this for regional development.
“We hope this programme will benefit Zambian administrators to improve the sport in the country by learning new tactics,” he said.