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WBAN calls on AIBA and U.B.F To Rescue Dreams Of Ugandan Boxers
by Michael O'Neill
October 29, 2014


(OCT 29)  Earlier this week we brought you the welcome news that five young Ugandan women were heading for next month's AIBA World Championships in Jeju, South Korea.

Those dreams may now turn to tears as the Ugandan Boxing Federation (UBF) has just revealed that it does not have sufficient funds to send the team of five to Jeju.

According to the (Ugandan) Observer's Moses Mugalu:

"In the real scenario of mixed fortunes for Ugandan boxers, cash-strapped local boxing body, UBF, has appealed for financial support to help five female fighters compete at the World Championships.

Uganda's female pugilists could have their dream to represent the country for the first time in the Aiba Women's World Boxing Championships harshly blown away by financial constraints as local officials say they are failing to get $15,000 (Shs 40 million)needed for the team to compete at the global event".

WBAN readers will recall that that five boxers; Maureen Adhiambo Nakiryowa (light flyweight), Diana Tulyanabo (lightweight), Hellen Baleke (middleweight), Diana Atwine (welterweight) and light welterweight Lydia Nantale, who are currently in a non-residential camp at Lugogo preparing for the Championships,are aiming at being in Jeju for the 8th edition of the AIBA World's commencing November 14th.

Today though there are real fears that most if not all of the team could miss the tournament. It told 'The Observer' that it requires up to $3,000 for each of the five boxers and their coach Dick Katende to make the trip. The costs include return air tickets ($2,000 each), visa fees ($40) and per diem fees, which range from $100 to $120 per day.

Kenneth Gimugu, president of Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF), says they have written to government for financial support but thus far without response. Time is running out.

"We wrote to National Council of Sports (NCS) in May and they are fully aware of this team's preparations but they have not got back to us. We're concerned that time is running out," said Gimugu.

Gimugu said the federation has appealed to the boxers' clubs (which include ably-financed institutions such as Kampala City Council Authority(KCCA) and the UPDF) to contribute towards visa and air ticket costs. Gimugu disclosed that UPDF had responded positively by agreeing to contribute towards Diana Atwine's expenses.

It would be yet another huge blow to the women of Uganda who also missed out on competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland for similar reasons.

On that occasion the government decided to pay for their male boxers and indeed Tony Sekabembe and Fazil Juma both took a bronze medal in Glasgow. Now the UBF must find funding for all five of its team. Equally in Uganda and in the vast Ugandan community at home and overseas ( Canada, UK,USA,Gulf States for example) there must be those who would be only too pleased to "assist" these your women to fulfil their dreams.

For some years now, the AIBA has professed to be a great supporter of women's boxing indeed just before London 2012. President Dr Ching Kuo Wu, suggested that the future of the sport lay with women boxers. Since then the AIBA we understand has funded male boxers both on the Road to London campaign and again this year as boxers prepare for teh Road to Rio.

Now WBAN calls not only on the Ugandan community at home and abroad but also Dr Wu and the AIBA - and its Ugandan federation - to help find the finance that will allow these five young women to fulfil their dream and compete in Jeu, just one small step on 'the Road to Rio'.

Are you listening AIBA ? Your boxers, Your federation,You have always said that you are fully supportive of women's boxing - now is an ideal opportunity to prove to the Ugandan boxers and the AIBA boxing family that ' actions speak louder than words'.

WBAN will keep you informed on this and all matters relating to the forthcoming Worlds in Jeju (Nov 14-25).

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