You are here: HomeSports2008 02 16Article 139343

Boxing News of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Source: GNA

GAABA laments lack of support for amateur boxing

Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - Mr Gideon Quartey, Chairman of the Greater Accra Amateur Boxing Association (GAABA) has lamented the neglect of the Association's activities by major stakeholders. He said the association had received little or no support from stakeholders compelling the executives to run the sport with their own limited resources.

Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday, at Chick 'n' Lick 'n' and La bouquet Restaurant on the Labadi Road in Accra, Mr Quartey said the surviving four-man executive team, from the initial number of seven, was yet to benefit from any form of support from the mother body, the Ghana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) since assuming office about three years ago.

"We inherited nothing in terms of physical and monetary value from our predecessors."

He said in spite of the magnitude of the challenges confronting them, their commitment to the development of the sport has led to the organization of the first ever regional amateur league and the recent Top Four Championships. GAABA is hosting the Haringey Police and Community Team from the United Kingdom in two international friendly tournaments and Mr Quartey says there is no support from anywhere to facilitate the programme. He said though the British Team had flown in a ring, which they intended to donate to the Association, the port authorities were asking for GHC 2,400 before releasing the equipment, adding that GAABA had no money to clear it and appealed to the Ministry of Education Science and Sports and the National Sports Council (NSC) big wigs to intervene on their behalf.

The chairman called on corporate bodies to come to the aid of the Association and support it to prosecute its programmes, aimed at developing boxing at the grassroots.

He said despite their neglect, the national association selects their boxers into the national team, the Black Bombers, without even notifying them appropriately, adding that no compensation is paid to the clubs for grooming the boxers.

The GAABA Chairman commended Chick "n" Lick "n" and La Bouquet Restaurant for supporting the visit of the British team by allowing their premises to be used for the pre fight weigh in and the press conference and for organising a deserving welcome reception for the team.

Mr Quartey also challenged the media to give amateur boxing adequate coverage to rejuvenate interest in the sport and make it attractive to corporate sponsors.

He quoted from a 2006 World Boxing Council (WBC) report to emphasise the importance of amateur boxing: "We must strongly support amateur boxing and modest clubs to keep watering the seeds for boxing to live for ever, and stop the fast and gigantic decline of today, when only the few, selected by the octopus television, are taking advantage of their voluminous finances while the grass roots of boxing eat only grass."

Mr Chris Hall, Team Leader of the Haringey Police and Community Team assured of his club's support for GAABA towards the organization of future events. The 12-member delegation including one female boxer, and 5 officials arrived in town last Friday and will engage in their first fight against their hosts at the Sacred Heart School at James Town in Accra on Saturday.

The United Kingdom team will wrap up their tour of Ghana with the final contest against the Greater Accra Select Team Wednesday, February 20 at the Prisons Canteen, Cantonments. 15 Feb 08