BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWEAN boxing continues to receive international recognition following the decision by the World Boxing Council (WBC) to award the country the rights to host the WBC All-Africa officials training and grading seminar as well as the African Boxing Union (ABU) convention next month.
The Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZNBWCB) was initially nominated to host the two prestigious events during the 59th WBC convention in Mexico last November.
Recently, ZNBWCB was officially confirmed as the hosts of the two high-profile events which will be held from July 25-27 and July 29-30 in Victoria Falls.
The workshop will target 140 boxing technical officials from Africa and all the affiliates in 12 regions of WBC. The convention will target 60 leaders of boxing boards and commissions from the 64 member countries in Africa.
WBC will provide internationally-accredited facilitators from the United States and the United Kingdom to train participants at the workshop.
After completing the training, officials will get opportunities to officiate at regional, continental and international competitions.
ZNBWCB official Paulah Maradze told NewsDay Sport that they were excited to be hosting the prestigious events which are meant to equipping local officials with skills.
“An estimated US$ 750 000 revenue will be generated into the country’s tourism economy through delegates staying and spending in Victoria Falls during the course of the workshop, thus stimulating sports tourism,” Maradze said.
“The workshop is a capacity development initiative that is aligned to the Zimbabwe Nation Boxing and Wrestling Control Board’s vision to become ‘an excelling and inclusive combat sport nation by 2030’. Technical competencies of officials will be enhanced in Zimbabwe and Africa thereby improving the quality of competition in the continent,” she said.
She added: “Both events will increase continental and global visibility through WBC and ABU media coverage of the workshop and convention which will be shared in with over 190 countries affiliated to both organisations. The events will provide a positive country image in the continent and the world through hosting delegates during the event.”
The decision by WBC to bring the two prestigious events to Zimbabwe comes at a time when the country’s boxers have been doing well on the international stage.
The major highlight this year was when top female boxer Kudakwashe Chiwandire made history when she became the first Zimbabwean female pugilist to win the coveted WBC belt after defeating Catherine Phiri of Zambia in Lusaka in February.
Chiwandire will defend her WBC bantamweight interim title against Mexican Zulina Munoz in a high-profile bout to be staged at the Harare International Conference Centre on August 20.
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