As the new Olympic Cycle gets underway towards Tokyo 2020, an underlying theme of the HeadsUp initiative in 2017 will be the AIBA Year of Africa. With a view to plotting a course for the African Boxing Confederation (AFBC) to build on its solid foundations, two days of workshops took place in Lausanne from 7-8 November, designed to set achievable goals and strategies that will take the continent’s boxing forward using a dynamic template to then be adapted for other territories.
“AIBA is taking important steps towards decentralising the decision-making processes and realising its vision of empowering the expertise towards our Commissions, the Confederations and National Federations. Across two days of workshops with those who know the present state of African boxing better than anybody, we have been able to finalise a positive, realistic course of action for our 2017 Year of Africa initiative, creating concrete plans for the development of boxing in the region that we can then tailor to benefit all our territories.” Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President.
“This recognition is crucial for the future of African boxing and the AFBC has been impressed by President Wu and AIBA’s support. We are a proud boxing continent with a rich history and a bright future and the Year of Africa reflects that. The AFBC is determined to use this opportunity to help all of our 54 National Federations realise their potential, raising the standards of boxing, coaching and officiating so that we as a continent are in a better position to host the biggest competitions and produce the greatest champions in the sport.” Mr Kelani Bayor, AFBC President and EC Vice President.
Six key members of the African Boxing Confederation were in Lausanne for a series of AFBC Workshops from 7-8 November, to begin AIBA’s Year of Africa knowledge-sharing and boxing development initiative that will run throughout 2017. Among the central points under discussion were the implementation of numerous and regional courses and educational seminars for coaches and officials at all levels, the maximising of, and building on, the current competition schedule, improved communications and the growth of women’s and grassroots boxing.
In light of the results of a survey sent to the continent’s 54 National Federations, a central goal for AIBA’s Year of Africa will be to instil greater consistency across a vast continent where the reality is a wide range of development and available resources. That consistency will be underpinned by a more stable competition schedule allowing boxers and organisers the time for considered and realistic preparations, and more compatible with World Championship and Olympic schedules.
The competitions will be used to host an increasing number of training courses and seminars as part of AIBA’s ongoing commitment to education and training in coaching techniques, officiating and AOB rules, as well as increasing the pool of officials and coaches. Diversification of the NFs represented at the 3-star R&J and ITO level, ringside doctors and scoring system training are among the priorities, with the translation of course content to reach a wider audience.
With African boxing’s grassroots development a key factor towards the greater inclusion of women into boxing, a key target ahead of Tokyo 2020, the growth of Junior and Youth training and competitions on the continent will also be a priority.
“A central part of our duty as boxing’s governing body is to offer our support where it is most needed to ensure that the world’s most talented boxers are able to fulfil their potential. African boxing has a rich history and a bright future, and AIBA will work closely with the AFBC to help empower the continent’s 54 National Federations and provide them with the structure in which to flourish, beginning with the Year in Africa but looking far beyond 2017,” concluded AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.