Seven Ugandan boxing coaches have received their certificates from the sport's world governing body, Aiba.
The coaches, who attended a One Star classification course conducted by British international instructor Terry Edwards (MBE) in December last year, now have the clearance to second boxers in international competitions.
"Before this, we only had three international coaches in the country. Now that we have 10, it's a big step forward for boxing. We are now sure that Ugandan teams travelling to international competitions at all levels will go with a certified coach," Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) publicity secretary Fred Kavuma said while passing out the seven coaches at Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) offices, Lugogo yesterday.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Ugandan boxers fought without the guidance of a familiar coach after experienced Dick Katende was barred from the ringside for lack of qualifications.
Team leaders in Glasgow had to seek the assistance of Kenyan and Nigerian coaches to second Ugandan boxers Fazil Juma and Mike Ssekabembe as they boxed to bronze medals. "The Glasgow incident was an eye opener for us. That's why Katende went to study after the Games and he is now a Star One coach," noted Kavuma.
Before handing certificates to the coaches, UOC president William Blick expressed his disappointment at some coaches' failure to attain certification. "I understand 25 coaches attended the course at Lugogo but only seven passed. That's disappointing. It makes us look bad as a country. It means we didn't do due diligence before admitting people for the course," said Blick. "However, I want to thank the ones that have passed and I promise to help them attain more qualifications by organizing a Star Two course next year. Maybe in 2018, we shall have a Star Three course," he added. Uganda has only one Star Three coach in Sam Rukundo, who is in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics with the country's two boxers Ronald Serugo and Kenneddy Katende.
"By the 2020 Olympics, we should have more Three Star coaches," promised Blick.
Martin Mangeni (Busia Boxing Club), Lamson Lakony (Makindye), Patrick Lihanda (Naguru), Mike Kintu (Matugga), Samuel Kabugo (Kololo), Tony Sekabira (UPDF B) and Badru Deen Wamundu (Mbale) are the coaches that graduated yesterday.
Source: The Monitor.