At the end of August, the boxing world’s attentions were turning to Hamburg and the 2017 AIBA World Championships. Meanwhile in Uganda, the 2017 Year of Africa programme was continuing to make its impact felt on the sport’s development and the education of the AIBA Family. As the YoA continues its momentum, the next stop for AIBA’s inaugural Legacy Project, the first in what will now be an annual regional focus for the organisation’s development team, is Nigeria, starting with a GlovesUp course from 12-16 September.
The project has been designed to raise standards and increase awareness in all areas of boxing across the continent, and the GlovesUp courses provides a grassroots starting point for Referees and Judges, underlining the fundamental tenets for ensuring the boxers’ health and safety in the ring, instilling the latest information on basic rules and regulations for bouts and explaining what is expected of an AIBA official. In Uganda, the course was followed by an AIBA One-Star R&J programme to raise the level of officials in the region and expand the pool of certified R&Js.
Across Uganda’s ten days of events, seven local boxing centres, from women’s gyms to school and community-based programmes, received vital donations of HeadsUp equipment, including the East Coast Boxing Club, set up in 2003 by the twins Hussein and Hassan Khalil and birthplace of some of the country’s biggest names in the sport.
“Uganda has a rich boxing history. Many of our programmes are led by former World Champions or medallists from major international tournaments, and it is Ugandan Boxing’s pleasure and privilege to be a part of the Year of Africa legacy. The HeadsUp initiatives and R&J courses have left an indelible mark on our boxing that has forever changed for the better. We look forward to working closely with AIBA to devise a long-term development programme which will reinforce the boxing foundations of this country and assist our talented athletes to reach the podium at the world level,” said Mr Kenneth Gimugu, President of Ugandan Boxing Federation.