Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Moses Muhangi, the president of Uganda Boxing Federation-UBF has decried the continued exclusion of boxing from the school calendar. It is almost 13 years since the former Commissioner of Education and Sports, Dan Tamwesigire raised concern over the safety of amateur boxers in schools, saying they are young and cannot stand punches on their heads.
Tamwesigire insisted that he needed approval from experts that boxing is safe for the minors. As a result, boxing lost momentum in schools such as Kololo high school among others, where it was a popular sport. Muhangi says that it is unfair to keep boxing out of schools where other sports talents are being nurtured.
“It is illogical for a sport like boxing to be sidelined in a grass-root spotting development structure like schools and then later one says boxing no longer wins medals,” he said. According to Muhangi, boxers ought to be nurtured in schools before they go on to get the experience that helps them to win medals on the national, continental, and international scenes.
“When boxing was winning medals, it was also practised in schools. People like Godfrey Nyakana and Justin Juuko among others came from schools like Kololo high and Kako SS and went straight to win gold medals in commonwealth games,” Muhangi explained.
Adding that, “boxing’s failure to win medals is majorly a government initiative, we have written documents, pleaded with administrators but up to now, no one is willing to have boxing back in schools but they are ready to assert that boxing no longer wins’ medals in the Commonwealth and Olympic games”.
He says that is four years since they asked for the return of boxing in schools in vain. Boxing is not provided for in the 2022 Education institutions sports calendar. Several other sports such as Secondary school boys’ football championship, Primary school national kids’ athletics, SNE games, and ISSF World Schools cross country were given space.
Rev. Can. Duncan Mugumya, the Commissioner of Education and sports told URN that it is not the responsibility of the ministry to predetermine sports activities. He explained that before drafting the calendar, they engaged all stakeholders who guided them on what to include.
Mugumya also explained to URN that although the boxing Federation has been talking about the continued neglect of their sport by the ministry, he is yet to find any official document that confirms the ban of boxing in schools.
Great to hear that. I live in Lira district Lango sub region, boxing is a story to us(Lango) yet Taekwondo both ITF and WTF are going on I normally asked myself why not boxing yet we also practice it like other arts thanks my humble request is that you let us know how we can join the Federation and start participating in UBF event