Tadious Manyepo in VICTORIA FALLS
THE GOVERNMENT has hailed the World Boxing Council and its affiliate, the African Boxing Union, for choosing to host their officials training and seminar respectively in Zimbabwe.
WBC ran a course for ring officials, judges and referees between Monday and yesterday while the ABU opened their two-day seminar here yesterday.
This is the first time the mega boxing events have been held in this country.
And officially opening the events yesterday, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, said the hosting of the seminar and convention heralded a new era in this country.
“The hosting of these two events comes at a time when boxing is on the growth trajectory in this country,” said Dr Chiwenga.
“I am particularly excited because the hosting of the events cements the role of sport as an economic driver and resonates well with our national vision as enunciated by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa of this country becoming an upper middle economy by 2030.
“I am sure we will be able to reach that before 2030.
“His Excellency (President Mnangagwa) has directed that when he gave this place a city status from being a town, that we can accelerate development in all sectors, sports being included and taking one of the central stages.
“Sport is a catalyst of socio-economic development and its capacity to transform lives of young people and build a healthy nation cannot be overemphasised.”
Dr Chiwenga said the country can ride on the momentum created by the successful hosting of the two events to start reaping rewards that come with a well-structured sports tourism initiative.
He said there was need to construct proper sports facilities in resort areas.
“Sports tourism has become one of the fastest growing industries across the globe for instance events like these are now known to be attracting tourists.
“The construction of standard sports facilities has become an important strategy in promoting sports tourism globally and Victoria Falls can become a destiny of choice as I said the city will become central when it comes to hosting mega events as is the case with Las Vegas in the United States of America and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I implore the relevant departments and authorities to collaborate in developing sport facilities and continuously host sporting events.
“There is no doubt events of this magnitude present an opportunity to make the country a safe sports tourism destination.”
WBC vice-president Houcine Houchi, who is also the ABU president, saluted the Zimbabwe Government for the support given to the two organisations.
“We have had regular ABU conventions but unfortunately they have been interrupted for two years because of the for the spread of the Covid19 in all world.
“However, we are back again to meet, thanks to the generosity of the Zimbabwe Government and the assistance of the Minsitry of Sport and the local boxing commission, The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, who did a great job to make this convention a success,” he said.
“Thank you Lawrence Zimbudzana and your team. I know that’s not easy but your seriousness and determination made it possible. We have been in touch nearly daily for over three months and we are proud of the results. Nothing is impossible.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation have appointed a new Board for the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control.
The appointment was announced by Minister Kirsty Coventry here yesterday afternoon on the sidelines of the official opening of the WBF/ABU conventions by Vice-President Dr Chiwenga.
There has not been a board over the two years to oversee combat sport operations in this country.
Vee Chibanda is the new chairperson of the board and it is the first time that a female has been given that role in the history of the board.
Referee and former boxer Diana Makumbe has also made it into the board whose vice-chairpereon will be announced once the board meets in the next few weeks.
The board has been appointed in line with the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act (Chapter 25:02) and Public Entities Corporate Governance Act (Chapter 10:31).
Minister Coventry hailed the board.
“The engaged members represent a variety of expertise and skills in different sectors of the economy and society,” she said.
“These appointments are with immediate effect and members are expected to provide strategic direction coupled strong regulatory oversight over the sub-sector in line with the law. This will ensure greater accountability sustainability.”
Full list of the board:
Vee Chibanda -Chairperson
Dr Muyaradzi Mujuru