‘Lack Of Facilities, Incentives, Bane Of Boxing In Rivers’. Collins Barasimeye
A boxing enthusiast, and student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun Sate, Adedokun Ibrahim has identified lack of facilities and remuneration for coaches and athletes as the bane of boxing in the state.
Ibrahim, who made the assertion in a chat with The Vortex correspondent at the Boxing Pavillion at Basket Ball Complex along Bende/Niger Streets in Port Harcourt, said the state does not have boxers in their employ that could represent the state in any competition.
He noted that even the coaches that also train at the arena were not staff of the government but only have love for the sport.
Ibhrahim who said he started boxing in 1998 under Coach Mekpo of Old Rivers State, but had not been regular due to his academic pursuit, adding that he only train during vacation since he had passion for boxing.
The Boxer lamented that the athletes who came for training were unemployed and they find it difficult to transport themselves to the boxing arena, stressing that with the zeal in them in giving some remuneration, encouragement and regular boxing tournaments, they could make the state proud by winning laurels in competitions.
He emphasized that with sponsorship of tournaments, the boxers will put in their best as they devote their time and money to train daily, appealing that with modern boxing facilities like a good ring, boxing bags, gloves and general exercise materials, they would be more focused.
“The athletes (boxers) that train at this Boxing ring along Niger//Bende Streets of Port Harcourt and the private coaches need all necessary encouragements and facilities as well as sponsorship to make them put in their best for the state,” Ibrahim posited.