It was a moment of joy and celebration for Ogun State Boxing Coaches Association as it marked this year AIBA International Boxing Day in grand style.
The two days boxing seminar and workshop for grassroot club coaches which started in Thursday, August 26th with seminar finally ended with boxing competitions for upcoming younger boxers on Friday.
No fewer than 36 coaches who came across the state for the coaching seminar and workshop held at Alake Sports Complex, Abeokuta were filled with joy to have learnt new things and techniques in the game.
The seminar and workshop packaged by the coaches association in conjunction with the state Boxing Association was to enhance and develop the coaches scope of knowledge in the game.
The seminar themed ‘Grassroot development of boxing in Nigeria’ was anchored by Coach Yinka Adeoti and Mr David Osuolale on day one, while on day two were Dr Ogunyeye and Alhaji Banji Adeleke, representative of the Referee and Judges in Nigeria.
Present at the final day event were Permanent Secretary, Ministry if Youth and Sports, Engineer Abiodun Olayinka; Director of Sports, Ogun State Sports Council, Mrs. Iyabode Rotimi; Alhaji Banji Adeleke, Referee and Judges Official, management staff of the council and host of others.
In her remarks, Mrs. Iyabode expressed belief that with the exceptional or magnificent way in which the event was programmed, lots of knowledge would have been acquired in readiness for formal coaching into the intricacy of boxing as a profession.
“Grassroots sports development is not just to scout for talents, but also to improve the economic and welfare standard of the youngsters at realising their hidden potentials, moreso, to take the youth off the streets.
“On this note, I will implore all the coaches to instil the essence of pride, victory and join hands for dedicated training, hard work, and diligent to all the rules associated with boxing.
“I am appealing to all well meaning individuals, industrialists, philanthropists in our society to assist the sports council by emulating this wonderful initiative and to support programmes of this nature that will benefit not only the community, but our young ones.
In the same vein, Alhaji Adeleke commended the organiser of the event , noting that Ogun State has set a record to have organized seminar for referee and judges to lecture the coaches. I wish this course started in Oyo State first, but Ogun has laid a record.
Adeleke, who is in charge of boxing scoring system in Nigeria said: “The future of boxing in Nigeria is great, in fact, the first three boxers I watched, they are great boxers, I really appreciate them. I talked to their coaches that they are future champions.”
Meanwhile, in the entertainment bouts organised to commemorate the AIBA Day, Khalid Anifowoshe beat Femi Fagbola by 2/1 spilt decision in the 30kg category. Akiode Pelumi defeated her counterpart, Sarah Adepoju in the 44kg class by unanimous decision.
Similarly, Salimat Damilare overcame Ayodeji Oluwafemi by split decision in the 48kg class. In the 46kg class, Akinsanya Ayomide emerged winner over Akinsanya Quam by split decision, while Olalekan Aliah was victorious over Taiwo Sukurat by unanimous decision in the 46kg class.
Highlight of the event was presentation of medals, certificates and other prizes to all the boxers while entertainment of coaches and guests lasted.