Omuthiya – A bleak future lies ahead for talented upcoming boxers in Omuthiya, with very little progress in the offing.
Disgruntled boxing protégés are growing hopeless of achieving their dreams to trade leather at the bigger stage, displaying their sporting talents, with the ultimate aim to enter the professional ranks whilst they also want to represent the land of birth internationally.
These are the sentiments of about 20 amateur boxers who hold their training sessions in a tiny makeshift training room at the Kauukunga informal settlement, situated on the outskirts of the rapidly developing town.
Although they are equipped with basic training equipment, such as torn gloves and a punching bag, the enthusiastic boxers are in dire need of a mentor who can properly take them through the ropes.
“We have been training on our own since 2015. In the absence of a qualified boxing coach, who might be obliged to rope in our manager to organise bouts for us, so far no significant progress has been recorded apart from maintaining and shaping our physique,” stressed Shikulo ‘No Mercy’ Lineekela, an upcoming boxer. ‘No Mercy’, 23, says they remain in limbo and as much as they are itching to get into the ring and throw punches, their chances are remote as a result of the absence of recognition from the regional boxing authorities.
“We want to fight, but how do we engage our potential opponents since we don’t have the means to put our plans in motion because there’s nobody to lead us towards the promised land.”
“Normally, we just hear about boxing tourneys staged elsewhere, but we have no access. As it stands, it remains a wish for us but hopefully somebody will hear our cries,” added Lineekela.
The latter appealed to any boxing academy that can absorb them for mentoring to help out, and invited them to take part in boxing tournaments.
“We need exposure, our talents can’t just go into the drain just like that – we are working hard and I also want to request the community to assist us with food or transport to enable us to attend and engage in various boxing competitions staged in close proximity.”
“At the end of the day, is not only for a particular group, but all of us,” said Lineekela.
In previous years the disgruntled group of boxers depended heavily on Oshikoto Boxing Academy, headed by female boxing enthusiast Maria Ileka.
The academy primarily focused on promoting boxing among women in the region and to a certain extent male boxers were accommodated too.