By Thomas Odongo
International Boxing Association (IBA) President, Umar Kremlev on Thursday launched the construction of an international boxing academy in Matugga, Nansana Division in the Central Region of Uganda. The academy worth 5M USD will be built on 10 acres of land offered by the Buganda kingdom.
Dubbed the Uganda Boxing Academy, the facility will comprise of; a competition arena, gym and fitness center, sports shopping center, swimming pool, hotel and accommodation, athletes accommodation, conference halls, learning center, offices, and public gardens among others.
Together with local authorities and the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF), IBA President launched the site where the future academy will be located and met with young Ugandan boxers to gift them equipment.
Kremlev also had stakeholder meetings with officials from the National Council of Sports, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Speaker of Parliament, Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom, and the like.
Kremlev lauded UBF for taking a bold step towards building an academy that he believes will improve the game of boxing not only in Uganda but across the continent.
“Africa is a very unique continent and Uganda is a unique country because they glorify boxing,” Kremlev said adding that; “boxing is very popular in Africa and that’s why some of the greatest boxers in the world (current and past) have roots in Africa.”
“I am happy to launch the construction of the academy. I’m also happy to meet you my boxing brothers and sisters,” Kremlev who was flanked by UBF President Moses Muhangi and other boxing leaders across the continent added.
Kremlev also lauded UBF’s Muhangi for the initiative saying that IBA will give their full support towards the project which is anticipated to be completed by next year.
Muhangi says that Kremlev’s visit shows how much faith they (IBA) have in Uganda and how much value they see in the federation (UBF).
Muhangi adds that when the facility is ready for use, it will be a huge step toward the growth of boxing in Uganda.
“The facility will help us in many ways, for example, we will be able to host many international events here which will benefit the country in many ways,” Muhangi noted saying that he is very happy with Kremlev’s visit.
Muhangi adds that the coming of Kremlev to Uganda is a big achievement for the country and the boxing fraternity in particular and all Ugandans should be proud of it
Invited by the President of Uganda Boxing Federation, Moses Muhangi, Kremlev’s visit was aimed at strengthening the sport, building capacity, and strengthening ties with the international body.