Combat sport to benefit from Devolution funds

By Bathel Shuro


CHINHOYI – NEGLECTED sports in the province, especially combat sports, are set to improve
as an injection of funds from Devolution funds is set to revive them, starting with boxing,
wrestling and mixed martial arts.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Board Provincial Co-
ordinator for Mashonaland West, Kefasi Chisango, said that the board was set to improve combat
sport in the province, making it a professional sport that would breed international champions.
“We are aiming to take the sport to the grassroots. There are funds coming in from the
Government and specifically budgeted for the development of combat sport in general.”
The Boxing and Wrestling Board has been effective in the province since September last year.
In accordance with the national devolution agenda, there has been restructuring to provincial
levels and Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central were the last to have structures at
provincial level.
“But, we are now here and there is no need to go to Harare to access information or take up as a
fighter,” he said.
Chisango also emphasised that while boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts were the most
popular, the board is also regulating other disciplines like Extreme Fighting Championships
(EFC) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
“This is the fastest growing sport in the world and there is serious money involved.”
These opportunities are not limited to athletes only. The board is not leaving no place and no-one
behind as they create employment for all.
“There are a number of roles one can take; you can come in as a manager, judge, referee, cleaner
and there is also room for promoters.
“We are also encouraging people, who are disabled, to take part in combat sport because there
are a number of roles they can take up.
“We are not limited to the fighting or competition part. We need to promote combat sport for
fitness, wellness or self defence.”
“The board is responsible for issuing licences so that people take this discipline professionally as
there is a lot of money involved. However, the most important aspect is the safety of the athletes.
“We are concerned with the safety of the athlete. We are part of a group called self-sport, which
is a world-wide organisation and our primary focus is on the safety of the athlete.

“So you find out that it is not only on the monetary part, but we also look at the health of the
athlete, how safe are they and can they fight. For example, since boxing is a combat sport, it is a
blood sport so one’s HIV status is considered.
“These sports are associated with risk that one can be injured or die in the ring, so we look at
these issues.”

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