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President’s Voice ÔÇô Gideon Sam
- Updated: July 21, 2011
Our farewell function for our team of amateur boxers going off to Cuba went very well.
I believe we were able to put across to the media just how serious we are with the development of amateur boxing in the country. This trip to Cuba is the culmination of months of planning and sometimes disappointments when the plan failed to come together perfectly.┬áHaving launched the programme with the SA National Defence Force we had hoped the core of the team going to Cuba would be from that group.
We soon discovered that we still have to do a lot with that group that was absorbed by the army.┬á But they will mature later and when we put our squads together for 2016 and 2020, those boxers in the army will feature prominently.
The good news however, is that on their return from Cuba, the boxers will get further exposure to sharpen them and hone their skills in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. We will move into Free State University and from there on intensify the preparation of our boxers. We are doing this because we believe firmly that it is about time that the sport of amateur boxing begin to contribute to this country’s medal tally at big competitions.
We will host Algeria in Bloemfontein and later the SADEC countries will camp with us, also in Bloemfontein. The boxers under the guidance of a Cuban coach together with our own coaches will be given opportunities to go and train in selected overseas countries.
Here SASCOC will be guided by SANABO as to which countries will be suitable for which weight divisions. It is really exciting times now for amateur boxing and the HP Centre that we will launch in Bloemfontein should be a clear indication that we are serious about raising the bar in amateur boxing.
The idea is to make the ┬ácentre attractive to the boxers across the country and to stem the tide of young boxers turning pro too soon. We will work in the provinces to establish sound and proper boxing school that will feed into our academy in Bloemfontein. It’s clear to us that long term athlete development is a must for our country. Our boxers must be exposed to the best training and to the best competition in the country as well as outside the country.
A proper monitoring system coupled with a tracking system will go a long way to ensuring that we deliver the athletes that will perform at the highest level. Boxing to us is one of the sports that we truly believe has the potential to make this country look good when it comes to the medals tally.
The launch date of the centre in Bloemfontein will be announced soon and when it is fully operational it should be the pride and joy of SANABO.