Sparks Boxing Club (Academy) is seeking strong representation to the National Team as the trials continue at Lugogo.
Herbert Kalungi, the Sparks Boxing Club coach, told The-SportsNation that they want to take about five Boxers to the Bombers team.
Sparks Boxing Academy is trying to emerge from the ruins of Kampala suburbs of Luzira, Kitintale and Mutungo amidst growing challenges.
Kalungi started the Academy way back in 2013 as a means to engage the Youth in society through Boxing.
“I believe one can achieve his dreams through boxing and Sports in general,” Kalungi spoke with determination and passion.
“Boxing is one of the channels I used remove idleness from these youths. Its this idleness that can result into high crime rates in the society.
“Earlier, most of the youths were branded as thieves and drug abusers.
“At Sparks, we have made sure that we register these youths through the right channel; Talked to their parents and advised most of them to get back to school.”
Kalungi says that Sparks is a big venture that employs many youths with branches in Mobile Fitness, Dancing groups, (making) Liquid Detergent among others.
He explained: “We have 322 youths registered with us. We ask formal applications forms from them, and these include well signed letters from Chairmen, Police and Parents. Everyone of our boxer is registered with the Uganda Boxing Federation.”
Boxers in society are usually portrayed as thieves but Kalungi says that it all goes back to leadership.
“I think it all starts from the leaders or their coaches. As a leader, I ensure that I practice what I preach. There is no reason why I should go to bars after telling my boys not to. You have to live as an example.”
“We try to work hand in hand with the community, I punish my boys accordingly everytime I get a bad report from the society about what they have done wrong.”
Kalungi says that they face a challenge of facilities and equipments to fulfil their dreams.
“About four of all the boxing clubs in Uganda have gyms. You find that most of us train from outside, so when it rains, no training. We lack funds, gloves, head gears and medical among others.”
He confirmed that he has recieved some good support from Round 13 Company (Spain) and Bluewave Mineral Water.
He says that Uganda Boxing Federation should try to extend more support to these Boxing Clubs. “UBF should extend a helping hand; It should not be about money, but giving these clubs like 10 gloves each every year is a big thing.”
At the ongoing National Team trials, Sparks has a representation of 25 boxers.
Five boxers are from the Elite group, Twelve in Youth while eight are in Juniors.
The five from Elite category are Umar Nvule (Welterweight), Pius Sililo (Light Welterweight), Isaac Kamoga (Featherweight), Davis Muhwezi (Featherweight) and Shafic Kalawo (Bantamweight).
“We have had some good preparations and our target is to have about five fighters who can make it to the National team. I am very optimistic.
“Reaching the National team is a good platform; it open doors for you, you get to represent your country in big competitions like Olympics, Commonwealth games, African games and others.”
He added: “I am very realistic, not all these young boxers will make it to the top, but we make sure that they get discipline and leave here as hard workers so that they cannot find issues with the society.”