In a bid to prepare themselves in the best possible way for the challenge ahead, Uganda’s female pugilists Hellen Baleke and Diana Tulyanabo have added one week of training in the high-altitude environs of Kasese.
The move is aimed to ‘steel’ for the Aiba Women’s World Boxing Championships due next week on Jeju island in South Korea. The two girls retreated to Kasese for the high-alttitude training (ideal for boxers and long-distance runners to boost endurance) last weekend and returned to Kampala on Friday ahead of their scheduled departure today.
Action in the ring at the Championships is set to start on Thursday (November 13) and ends November 25. For the past three weeks, Baleke and Tulyanabo have been on non-residential training supervised by national coach Dick Katende at Lugogo gymnasium. Three other fighters Diana Atwine, Mauren Nakiryowa Adhiambo and Lydia Nantale are also training.
Yesterday, Katende explained that Baleke and Tulyanabo also had weight problems, which he said should be sorted after that special training in Kasese. Baleke, who is entered to compete in the welterweight (69kg) category, weighed 80kg while Tulyanabo had to shed off at least five kilogrammes to make the middleweight (75kg) class.
To ensure that the two boxers make required weights, Katende tasked Kasese-based local coach Juma Saidi to supervise their work-outs for the past week.
However, financial constraints continue to overshadow the five boxers’ preps for the Championships as local boxing federation (UBF) officials are still waiting on government (through the National Council of Sports) to pronounce themselves on the team’s air tickets, allowances and visa charges.
There were big hopes as UBF officials geared up for a meeting with NCS secretary Jasper Aligawesa late last evening. UBF had a budget of $15,000 (approximately Shs 40 million) to cater for five boxers and their coach’s travel, allowances and pre-championship preparations.
Uganda is fielding competitors for the first time in the 13-year-old Championships.
Source : The Observer