While the rest of South Africa will be under the festive season excitement spell, several youngsters will be looking to complete their year with wins at a boxing tournament to be held at MUT.
The University will host a South African National Boxing Organisation (SANABO) National CADET and Junior Boxing Championships from 11 to 16 December 2022. The Deputy Director of Sports at MUT, Siyabulela Mkwalo, said “this generation [of boxers] is the most critical segment of development since they serve as the feeder for youth and elite boxers. The current KZN-based Commonwealth Games 2022 female medallist, Phiwokuhle Mguni, and other elite boxers that are part of the current national team, were once part of this competition in their vertical development trajectory.”
Mkwalo added that the competition would afford boxers “intensive competition, national experience, massive exposure, and an opportunity to join the National Youth Team for international competitions”.
He said that junior boxers graduating from this competition progress to the youth level where they qualify to partake in international competitions. In the end, they become elite boxers who compete in all types of international competitions, including the All-Africa Games, World Championships, and Olympic Games, among others. Mkwalo also said that the competition has also produced several coaches that are renowned worldwide.
The event will take place at the University’s iconic Seme Hall. “We are expecting 393 participants from all nine provinces in South Africa, with KwaZulu-Natal bringing more boxers than any other province,” said Mkwalo.
Altogether, KwaZulu-Natal will bring 65 participants – 13 boys for junior, 10 girls for junior, 16 CADET boys, and 14 CADET girls, along with 12 officials. The Eastern Cape and the Western Cape will bring 63 participants each.
Mkwalo added that they will allow members of the immediate community to come and watch the boxing event. Mkwalo, a Director on the African Boxing Confederation (AFBC) Board of Directors and President of SANABO, said they decided to focus on the younger group because it would be much easier for this group to learn the sport.
“As usual, sport is an opportunity to offer the youngsters something more meaningful, and that will have an immediate impact on their lives and their future,” said Mkwalo.
During the first planning session on 15 November 2022, Mkwalo said they were going to ensure that all security and health-related areas were taken care of, so the event would be a success.
“The emergency services, the South African Police Services (SAPS), the eThekwini Metropolitan Police, and the University Protection Services, will be on the scene to provide the necessary services to all the participants in the tournaments and guests,” said Mkwalo. He added that the SAPS and eThekwini Metro Police would ensure that all the surrounding roads were safe, particularly as the events of the day would end late in the evening.
Mkwalo said that among the various stakeholders they were expecting was the MEC for Sport and Recreation from KwaZulu-Natal, and senior officials from local, provincial and national Sports Departments and Confederations.