A mobile gym has arrived in South Africa to develop athletes and coaches in the country as part of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Year of Africa project.
The Year of Africa truck entered the country last Saturday (July 1) and AIBA promised it will provide a series of educational courses and initiatives.
“As the first of AIBA’s important legacy projects for the sport, seeing the impact of the Year of Africa in South Africa reminds us of the power boxing has to capture the imagination of young people and how it can inspire in them the important values that we should all strive to live by,” said C K Wu, AIBA President.
“The ambition behind this year is to create the conditions for a new golden era in African boxing to flourish, and it is gratifying to see the hard work paying off.”
As part of the project, one and two star courses will be available for coaches, as well as one star courses for referees and judges.
A GlovesUp initiative will provide a new entry-point into boxing and AIBA as an organisation, what it represents and the certification courses on offer.
The course aims to provide a focus on the benefits the sport brings to young people through a number of education sessions in local schools.
More than 190 places are available to those seeking to advance their careers, with the South African National Boxing Championships providing the opportunity for practical assessment.
Around 4,800 certified course places will be on offer throughout 2017, with the Year of Africa aimed to help boxing reach a new audience of more than 750,000 people.
“Since we hosted the opening event for Year of Africa, we have watched the tremendous impact that the project has been having on boxing’s profile both in South Africa and beyond,” Andile Mofu, president of the South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation, said.
“AIBA has brought the knowledge to our doorstep and with it a unique opportunity for African boxing and it needs to be seized with both hands.”
Representatives of Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe are expected to take part in course during the three weeks of activities in South Africa.
The stop in the country is being supported by programme ambassador Masibulele Makepula, who carried South Africa’s flag at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and went to become WBO light flyweight champion.
The project follows last month’s African Boxing Championships in Brazzaville, where 40 boxers earn places at the AIBA World Championships.
The Championships will take place from August 25 to September 3 in Hamburg in Germany.