VICTORIA Falls will now be on the world map for real boxing after the Victoria Falls Boxing Club officially opened an academy which will provide training, host tourneys and promote the sport in the resort town.
For six years, the academy founder Tobias Owen Muposiwa has been using his resources, with assistance from a few Victoria Falls individuals and Liquorama among the few sponsors, to sustain the sport.
Training was done at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School while tournaments took place at an open space at Invuvu Bar and Shoestrings with the ring hired from Bulawayo and Hwange.
The new academy, fully furnished with boxing and gym equipment was officially opened on Friday at a colorful event which saw Muposiwa square off with his trainer, former boxer Titus “T and T” Zikhali in one of the few bouts that were organised for the night.
Muposiwa knocked out his master in six minutes, much to the excitement of the crowd that cheered both boxers.
The premises have enough space for spectators and scores drawn from various walks of life including children turned to witness the opening of the club.
South Africa based Mark Valentine donated the equipment, while Jafuta Foundation, Liquorama, Fawcett Security and some individuals facilitated opening of the academy at a disused warehouse in the industrial site.
Chairperson of the academy’s management committee Danielle Connolly, who is also from Jafuta Foundation, said there is need to make the club sustainable going forward as it will promote sports tourism.
“This dream was started by Tobias in 2010 with the vision of creating a boxing academy because he had passion. He approached organisations such as Jafuta Foundation, Fawcett and Liquorama among others and Mark sponsored the entire gym and ring.
“We now have premises and equipment but we need to be sustainable to keep going. By creating an academy, we can now have a proper club where people will be coming as members,” said Connolly.
She said the club will open to the public in January.
The Zimbabwe Boxing Federation has since requested the club to host a five nations’ tournament set for December 21.
“This is our launch pad. It took a few people with passion for the sport to make this dream come true.
Eventually we want to build a high performance centre with accommodation as we put Victoria Falls on the world map,” said Connolly.
She said plans are underway to come up with scholarships for club members.
Over the years Muposiwa has identified a number of youngsters, some of them Chamabondo Primary scholars Personal Mpofu (13) and Prince Kurengwa (12) who are both national gold medalists.
“I’m glad we are getting support now. I wanted to work for the community and bring youngsters out of the streets and drugs by training them into professional boxers,” said Muposiwa.
The academy has 32 boxers, 10 of which are juniors and two females. Harare based female referee Sabina Mwelase who handled the matches said she would help encourage the girl child to take up the sport.