NMB Boxing talent to be groomed by the greats
28 Jun 2021 11:12
It was a jovial mood at the Sizakele Konzi Hall in Uitenhage on Friday when two of Nelson Mandela Bay’s former boxing champions, Phumzile Madikane and Vuyani Nene committed to train and groom new boxing champions during the official launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s boxing development programme.
The two legends join the City’s Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SRAC) Directorate following their appointment by the Executive Mayor, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga, who announced last month that the two would be tasked with the enormous task of nurturing a new talent of boxers in line with the City’s plans to revive the sport in the City.
During the launch, NMBM SRAC Portfolio Head, Cllr Helga van Staaden said the former champions who were affectionately known as “Sweet Boy” and “Wonder Boy” during their prime years in boxing, would work with aspiring boxers from the Motherwell and Uitenhage areas.
She said: “We are very fortunate to have these legends in our City and by attaching them to our Directorate we are showing our appreciation to them while they are still alive but most importantly we want them to train the next boxing stars. They must leave behind a legacy and this is part of our commitment to sport development.
"Earlier this year we did pledge our support to the boxing fraternity during the Boxing Indaba we had and we continue to put resources like these in place to support our plans and not just have Indaba’s that are not complemented by action.”
“We are very happy that work will now commence from next month. Weekly and monthly reports will be submitted to the Directorate to assess the work done through this project and to account for the investment we have made. We want to see results and to be able to see more of our children off the streets.”
The programme will focus on physical training and development in boxing for the youth, life skills and administrative skills training in boxing.
Madikane said he was happy to be part of the programme as he was worried that one day he would die with all his knowledge.
“I was at a point of complaining because I thought I would die with my gift and knowledge. There were lots of children that I thought I could groom, so I’m very happy that I finally have this opportunity. One would never say by looking at my face that I was a boxer because I am still handsome and that is because I was a boxer not a fighter. There is a difference between the two and those are just some of the lessons I will share with these children,” he said.?
?“Wonder Boy” Nene expressed his joy and said: “There were lots of children who asked me to train them but I could not, so I will now be able to fulfil that obligation as it was also my dream to train a new talent of boxers. As a boxer one needs to sacrifice a lot of things, boxing needs discipline, that is how I succeeded too. Those are some of the lessons I will share with the youth I will be training.”? ?
17-year-old Bongani Dunjwa from Uitenhage said the programme would assist him in realising his dream of becoming a professional boxer.? ?
“I started boxing when I was 10 years old, I love the sport and I have a dream of one day turning professional. To learn from the legends will assist me in making my dream a reality,” he said.?