Barry Silah @obel_barry
Kenya’s boxing team to the forthcoming Gold Coast Commonwealth Games might not perform to expectations due to ill preparations. Speaking to People Sport on phone, a frustrated Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) president John Kameta expressed displeasure with the situation.
“It is worrying the conditions my boxers have been subjected to considering we are only weeks away to Commonwealth event. The Kenyan representatives have been training in far from ideal centres and this is a huge disservice.
The fact that we had submitted our budgets for preparations and planning means that Ministry of Sports should have been on top of things,” he said. Last month BAK sent a strong contingent of 14 pugilists to India for an open boxing tournament in readiness for the main event. Another four-nation training/tournament camp invitation from Cuba has come through but Hit Squad might struggle to honour it due to financial hiccups.
“This was a development we discussed at the last AIBA Congress in Dubai and we felt this was important for our boxers before Commonwealth starts. As it is, we are not certain that we will make it to Cuba to join other boxers from UAE, Ethiopia and Morocco,” added Kameta whose Federation had submitted a budget of Sh45 million.
BAK is still confident of getting medals but only if the government takes charge of the project to the end. “We have been practising at very clumsy gymnasiums and this is not appropriate for our productivity on the whole.
Currently, our guys are at the Police Depot in Mathare under coach Patrick Maina. Our usual camp is meant to be at Nakuru but the ministry has yet to communicate. It is simple really, only a proper environment will ensure that our team can stay ready and focused,” said Kameta.
He has additionally called on government to prioritise on infrastructural development going forward.”We need at least 25 boxing rings for effective impact to boxing.”