Kenya could miss out on the Africa Boxing Championships in Brazzaville, Congo next month due to lack of funds, Boxing Association of Kenya president, John Kameta has revealed.
In the meantime, BAK is making an urgent appeal to the Deputy President, HE Hon. William Ruto, to personally intervene in this matter and help the ‘Hit Squad’ make it to the continental championship. The continental extravaganza, which is a qualifier for the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships to be held later this year in Hamburg, is programmed for June 17-25.
“We appeal to the government to avail funding to the national boxing team to enable us participate in the African Championships in Congo, Brazzaville. It is not easy to prepare a team for international assignments and then face bureaucratic bottlenecks that hinder their participation in the same. We feel we are not appreciated enough and read mistreatment in the ministry’s stance to reject our funding request for this important event,” he said.
Kameta said BAK have done their best and the team is raring to go. “It is time other major stakeholders, mainly the government of Kenya through the Ministry of Sports, also played their part,” Kameta said in a letter dated at May 25. BAK had picked a full team of 11 boxers who were to go into camp next week.
Lack of state funding and facilitation, added Kameta, had technically knocked out the national team from the continental event that is precursor to World Championship.
He said with the current state of affairs, the national team ‘Hit Squad’ is faced with dim prospects for international outings in 2017.
Kameta accused officials at the Sports Ministry of having turned down all requests for funding of the national team this year.
“We may be forced to withdraw from all regional and international boxing outings if the government does not intervene to save Kenya’s boxing,” Kameta said in a two-page letter. Kameta said the World Boxing Championships will help prepare the Kenya team to the Olympics 2020 in Japan. The team has the likes of Nick Okoth (lightweight), Benson Gicharu (Bantamweight)m Shafie Bakari (light flyweight) and light- heavyweight Elly Ajowi among others.