By Daniel Lutaaya
The Uganda Amateur Boxing Federation has confirmed 23th -31st March as days for the National Schools’ Boxing Championships 2019 that will take place at the MTN Arena in Lugogo.
Over 50 schools, across Uganda will throng the arena that has already seen a lot of boxing this year having already hosted the Uganda Open with students eager to punch their way to success.
The championships will start on the 23rd with a weigh in, draws will be held the following day on the 24th and 24hours later the bouts will start.
The federation president Moses Muhangi hopes for a successful event despite the financial challenges they face, “The boxers can’t train; the national team boxers are at home sleeping while other countries are training in camps it’s because we don’t have resources. If we look at the schools’ championships, we can’t develop the sport from stage 1 because there is no money to fund these activities and this is what we have been talking about for some time, when government gives those billions to FUFA. The 125 million government gives us every quarter was all spent on the National Open.”
“We are taking measures of engagement with the national council the minister and next week I will be petitioning the parliament of Uganda to talk about the same, ” he added.
Zebra Senyange, one of the organizers says only students aged 13 to 18 and weighing not less than 33 kilograms will be eligible to fight.
Senyange says, “We have been told by AIBA (Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur) that someone has to start boxing when they are 13 years when they are a bit mature; the brain can (at this age) at least take some punches”
“When you are starting with these minors you have to be very careful and you will see so many stoppages”
The Schools Championships this year will see Ugandan US Based professional boxer Sharif “the Lion” Bogere spur on the youngsters with motivational talks;
“It is a joy to see how boxing has developed ever since I left the country and I am glad to share what I have learnt from Mayweather’s gym to the youngsters” Sharif said.
Bweyogerere Secondary School won the last edition with 38 points, perennial boxing hub Kololo high was second with 33 while Nankulabye secondary school finished third.