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Poor funding nearly grounds Uganda's boxing team

By Samson Opus

Added 11th January 2020 10:30 AM

UBF had a budget of sh100m both for training and exposure of boxers to competition ahead of the event.

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National boxer David Ssemujju (right) takes on Ronald Okello during the Africa Olympic Games trails at Lugogo recently. Photo by Johnson Were

UBF had a budget of sh100m both for training and exposure of boxers to competition ahead of the event.

Ugandan boxers will struggle in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers owing to poor preparations due to lack of funding.

Since a national boxing squad of eight men and five women was picked, Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) officials have been running around for funds in order to prepare the team for the Africa Olympic Games qualifiers due in Dakar, Senegal next month February 20-29.

“Things are hard. We are trying to curtail other activities and work within our resources so that the team goes in camp,’ UBF secretary Simon Barigo explained the dire situation yesterday.

UBF had a budget of sh100m both for training and exposure of boxers to competition ahead of the event.

“We have tried to reach out to the sports authorities but they have been non-committal. We hope they will come to our plight later but we cannot sit down to wait,” Barigo added.

However, the team under the tutelage of coach Patrick Lihanda is expected to enter residential training at Uganda Prisons Training College in Luzira today.

During the 2016 Rio Olympics, local boxers failed to make the cut because of similar problems. Uganda was represented by Sweden-based boxers Ronald Serugo (flyweight) and Kenneth Katende (heavyweight). Ugandan has a rich history with four Olympic medals.

Poor funding is always a major problem for Ugandan teams in the run-up to major competitions especially the Olympic Games.

Boxing is an intensive sport that requires years of preparation.

It will be a hard task for pugilists to make the cut for the Japan Games due on July 25 to August 9.

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