THE new chairman of the Namibia Boxing and Wrestling Control Board, Ellison Hijarunguru, has a huge task on his shoulders. He must, as a matter of extreme urgency work on a new Boxing and Wrestling Act. It cannot be that in an independent Namibia, we are still operating on the basis of the Sports and Wrestling Act of 1980 that is some 36 years old.
We wonder whether the current Act, the one of 1980, addresses the well-being of boxers and administrators. We also wonder whether it offers any protection in cases of disputes between boxers and promoters. Boxing has not only become very professional, it has also become commercial and commercial means money. And we know what money can do to people.
It is of utmost importance that Hijarunguru starts off on a good note. How he starts will determine how he ends his tenure as chairman of one of the most important sports bodies in the country. When you talk professional you talk money. Boxers make a living out of trading blows in the ring and that aspect of their life must be handled properly, through a law that addresses all the issues that could make the sport flourish.
Hijarunguru has the most perfect opportunity to start on a sound footing, spending the time to address flaws in the boxing law and ensuring that Parliament passes a new boxing act during his tenure. What an achievement that will be for him
You will read elsewhere on our sports pages that the previous boxing board had put together a draft bill but could not get it accepted by four successive sports ministers, including the current one. That is great cause for concern, if it is indeed the case.
One wonders also, why there was no noise about the review and drafting of the new boxing bill, not even an announcement that officials from world renowned boxing bodies such as WBA, WBO and IBF were in the country to consult on this important piece of legislation.
Be that as it may, it is never too late to have the boxing law reviewed again and presented to the relevant legal authorities for scrutiny and submission to the National Assembly. But let it be known by Hijarunguru and company that the boxing fraternity will not be as accommodating as they have been in the past 26 years. They will demand reforms in boxing and the sooner that happens the better for all concerned, especially the boxers.
Namibia is one of the leading African nations that have produced world champions across the major boxing organisations. We need to step up our game and produce more. A new boxing act which regulates boxing promotions and sponsorships will put us on a good footing to achieve just that.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015