Arua | RedPepper Digital– A section of sports lovers in Arua have embarked on boxing and football talent search in the city.
This follows the revival of Arua City Boxing Club on boxing day and the launch of Arua central corporate end-of-year football tournament at Arua Public primary school ground on Wednesday.
The two big sporting events of the year were spearheaded by Rashid Osino Ijoyi, the councilor representing Barsar Ward to Arua Central Division in Arua City.
Speaking to journalists on different occasions, Osino said the revival of boxing in Arua and the launch of the three-day tournament sponsored by Edoma Foundation is aimed at identifying the hidden talents in the city.
“Arua boxing club has been there from the years of 1990s up to around 2004, but from 2004, the club became inactive due to several sporting challenges. We started reviving this club two years back and we have been training up on Arua Hill. From there, we shifted to Niva youth center which is now our new training ground,” said Osino, who also doubles as the Arua City Boxing Club President.
“The club is registered as a community-based organization (CBO) and our main duty is to identify talent. You know Arua as my childhood place has a basketful of boxing skills and we don’t want it to fade away like that. So, we revived boxing with the aim of identifying potential boxers that will later represent the region and the nation at large,” Osino added.
He noted that earlier they fronted two ladies who are right now competing in semi-finals of Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF).
Osino identified the two as Sauda Muhammad and Arafa Ayike.
Meanwhile on the football tournament, Osino said it will be an annual event also aimed at identifying hidden talent among the youth in the Central Division.
“I promise that this tournament is going to be very sustainable and the mode will be for it to take place annually so as to keep the youth together. The other essence of this tournament is to identify the hidden talent that have not yet been identified because we have big teams like Onduparaka FC, Arua Hill SC and Calvery FC which have identified players but there are still untapped talents down there that needed to be identified,” Osino said.
He observed that there are so many boys who play football under mango trees in the Central Division and whose talent can only be exposed through such tournaments.
Osino commended Edoma Foundation headed by Dan Edoma for supporting the tournament and asked the CEO to always come to support such events.
In his remarks, Edoma said there are a number of things they are looking to achieve as a foundation, especially the aspect of health, education and economic empowerment.
“The sports aspect falls in health because when you are fit, you are able to be healthy and sports promotes that, and secondly, within sports, there is also the aspect of economic empowerment. We have seen what talent does to people. A case study is how Shaban Muhamad of Onduparaka was able to rise from a small league to play in a national team,” Edoma stated.
“But fundamentally, we are looking at how we can promote unity amongst the youth. You realize that during the festive season when the youths are idle, they get involved in various activities which may not necessarily be economically viable, so we thought it was necessary to organize this tournament to address the aspect of togetherness, promote talent and above all, support these small teams which fit in the bigger teams,” Edoma stressed.
Edoma Foundation procured balls and Jerseys for all the six teams participating in the tournament that will end on Friday.
At the end of the tournament, the Foundation will hand out UGX100,000 to each of the teams that took part in the games, another bonus UGX100,000 for the runners-up team meanwhile the team that emerges as the overall winner will walk away with a trophy and an additional UGX200,000 to make it UGX300,000 in total.