The Uganda National Boxing team, the Bombers, celebrated their achievements from the 2023 AFBC African Boxing Championships together with the Ghetto Communities in Kawaala.
Uganda won seven medals at the tournament held in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Two boxers – Erina Namutebi and Wasswa Ssali – won silver while five – Ronald Okello, Matovu Ukasha, Solomon Geko Kozaala, Grace Nankinga and Emily Nakalema settled for bronze.
The jubilant bombers shared their success stories with the Community who gathered in an event organised by Uganda Boxing Federation on Wednesday.
“Thank you for praying for us,” started fan-favourite Matovu Ukasha. “We didn’t ashame you and we manage to deliver like we promised.”
“Allow me thank our Federation and coaches who within a short period of time organised us to compete at such a difficult and top stage.
“We hadn’t kept our medals in Cameroon that we we were just going to pick them up and return, it was a real battle against fighters who were better than us, but we were determined and these medals are a testament.”
UBF thought it wise to return and celebrate the success with the Kawaala community, the same place where the team was flagged off last month before flying out.
A lot was lined up, majorly a Nyama Choma event where people, mainly youths, ate and drank Sting Energy Drink (Boxing Champions League sponsor).
“It’s important for us as the Federation to give back to the Communities where we get our Boxers from,” said UBF President Muhangi.
“And there was no better way to celebrate this with our Ghetto people who give us the mandate, the people we live with, such a success.
“It doesn’t make sense for you to live in a community then once you succeed you go and celebrate with other people. We always wanted to come back and celebrate with our people, stay connected with them, give them encouragement and can feel motivated. If Ukasha can do it, if Muhangi can do it, you can also do it.’
Muhangi said that they will not celebrate their success stories with the Ghetto People, and next time they get a chance, they will may be move to Kawempe or Kamwwokya or Gulu.
“We want to emphasize that Boxing is a community Sport and you can only associate with Communities if you want to succeed.”
The move, a one Youth known by his sir name Kafeero who looked to be aged 18-19, told this will website that it has given them a sense of belonging and will act us a motivation to up their efforts and not just in Boxing.
With all medalists and Quarterfinalists receiving cash prizes that include Sh36m for Silver medalists, the lives of Boxers will never be the same.
In disturbing developments, the Federation is yet to receive funding for the upcoming Olympics Qualifiers due next month in Dakar, Senegal.
“We are supposed to be participating in Olympics Qualifiers in Senegal but we have not been supported to start a non residential camp, we have not had a chance to start friendlies and time is against us,” a disappointed Muhangi said.
“This is what has always affected us everytime because we have always known that the Olympics qualifiers will be there but it’s demoralizing that we have to wait five days to the games to be able to bring funds to the Federation and it becomes a little bit challenging.
“I feel bothered a bit by that kind of arrangement and it puts us in a tricky situation. There are higher chances that we may not qualify a boxer to the Games because these kind of ill preparations, it becomes harder.”