2014 a game changer for Rwandan boxing

With focus on acquiring legal status, Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association [Raba] face a busy calendar 2014 were during which they must make their fighters active unlike last year.

With focus on acquiring legal status, Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association [Raba] face a busy calendar 2014 were during which they must make their fighters active unlike last year.

Rwandan boxers will be engaged most of the year featuring in continental and international competitions. 

There will be World Youth Championships, African Youth Championships and Commonwealth Games among others in 2014 and boxers need proper preparations. 

At least those selected for various disciplines need to be in residential camp two months before participating in any international championship.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Sport,  Raba’s technical director Gashugi Kananura acknowledged that much of their focus lately has been put on acquiring legal status as requested by the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

“The whole of January and February has been dedicated to acquiring legal status. So far we have four clubs that have their documents at the district level. From there, the documents will be sent to Rwanda Governance Board [RGB] in order to get provisional status,” he said.

The veteran trainer, who also doubles as the national team coach added, “We hope that by the end of February, we will have attained legal status.” 

Clubs that have started processing their documents to attain legal status include Kigali Winners, Remera, Kimisagara and Hilltop boxing clubs respectively.

He however, noted that the national team will not be affected by this process because the sports ministry promised to continue facilitating the costs of preparations as well as participation in various competitions.

“We will select players for different competitions basing on their performances in last year’s national championship,” said Gashugi.

Rwandan boxers have a tight calendar where they will participate in Zone Three Championships in Cameroon, AIBA World Youth Championships in Bulgaria, Africa Youth Games in Botswana, Commonwealth Games in Scotland, Youth Olympic Games in China, AIBA Women World Championships in Canada and Africa Open Championships in Mauritius. 

It is up to the government and National Olympic Committee to start early preparations if the pugilists are to put up a formidable challenge or even dream of a medal.

Meanwhile, the boxing federation general elections have been set for next month but the date is yet to be confirmed, according to the chairman, Cyatwa Ngarambe.

Ngarambe said, “a committee has been set up to oversee the elections which are most likely to take place next month.”

Wrangles & negligence

Initially, RABA has failed to promote the sport due to negligence and wrangles between the boxing federation and the Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOC). 

It is not that the country does not have gifted boxers but poor organisation has left even the few talented boxers frustrated.

The association failed to send boxers to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The duo of Salim Kwizera (56 kg-Bantamweight) and Jean-Maurice Bikorimana (64kg-Light Welter) missed out on participating in the event on the last hour and no clear reasons were given.

 

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