Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) has appealed to well-wishers to help it with equipment in its drive to revive the sport at amateur level.
The local boxing body’s vice-president Francis Kadzakalowa said in an interview on that out of 35 clubs, only 10 have equipment.
He said: “We have a total of 35 boxing clubs and 143 boxers across the country and proper amateur boxing club is supposed to have minimum boxing equipment such as gloves, punching bags, pads, head protector and skipping ropes, but sadly, most of our clubs do not have such equipment.”
Kadzakalowa said that was the reason local amateur boxers struggle in international tournaments such as the Olympic qualifiers.
“Countries such as Zambia, Rwanda and Tunisia are doing well in boxing because they are well supported by their governments, corporate world and well-wishers,” he said.
The Maba vice-president said a set of the boxing equipment per club would cost a minimum of K170 000.
“So for the 25 clubs we need at least K4 million to purchase a proper set of training equipment.
“Boxers who have travelled abroad for various tournaments have struggled to cope as they train with poor equipment and mostly barefooted,” he said.
Kadzakalowa said Maba has lined up several local and international bouts once the ban on sport due to the Covid-19 pandemic is lifted; hence, the need “to mobilise the equipment at this particular time”.
He said the plans include district boxing tournaments and identifying women amateur boxers in a bid to develop the sport at grass roots level
“In our proposed budget to the Malawi National Council of Sports, we included plans to purchase three boxing rings [one for each region] as the ones we are currently using are outdated and worn out.
“Individuals can adopt a club and donate directly or contact Maba to organise the equipment,” said Kadzakalowa.
One of the top local amateur boxers Harvey Nkacha said lack of support is hindering the development of the sport.
“We have the potential but we lack support. Just imagine in this day and age, we still use bags filled with sand instead of proper punching bags.
“How can we develop that way? I appeal to the corporate world and government to consider our plight,” he said.