Boxing unites communities

2019-07-04 06:00
Zion Barnes of Hanover Park boxing academy lands a punch to the face of Khayelitsha Boxing Club’s Ntanelo Makubelo and scores the points to win the fight during the Cape Town junior open boxing tournament.PHOTO: Rashied isaacs

Zion Barnes of Hanover Park boxing academy lands a punch to the face of Khayelitsha Boxing Club’s Ntanelo Makubelo and scores the points to win the fight during the Cape Town junior open boxing tournament.PHOTO: Rashied isaacs

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Hanover Park Boxing Academy is happy with how the boxing tournament, hosted at Hanover Park Civic Centre on Saturday 29 June, turned out.

This is according to the academy’s manager and organiser, Ighsaan Nazier.

He said the event saw eight clubs from various areas in Cape Town competing. Those areas included Nyanga, Philippi and Khayelitsha. That, according to him equals to 16 fighters who battled it out in the ring.

He said the event was not just about boxing but about bringing the community together to unite against all the criminal activities – it was about nation building.

According to him, the academy wants to grow and do more community events with the children, as they have done so in the past.

He made mention of a boxing camp they had last year. The tournament was just a continuation of such projects.

As organisers, he said, they were impressed by the support from the community. “I was happy with the turnout. As early as 07:00 there were already mothers who were at the door, wanting to come into the venue,” he shared.

Nazier said the event highlighted another need; that of female boxers to come on board. He revealed there was a female boxer who wanted to fight but could not due to not having an opponent. He called on interested female boxers to join the academy.

“I also encourage parents to advise their children to come to the academy, it is not just about boxing but discipline also,” he said.

Nazier revealed that as a symbol of appreciation to all the participants, they were all given meals and medals after the event.

The event was in partnership with the City of Cape Town’s Parks and Recreation.

Hanover Park’s ward councillor, Antonio van der Rheede, sponsored the event.

Van der Rheede said he used the event as a means to transform children and also attract them to something that could change their lives for the better. He congratulated all the boxers who took part in the tournament for their spirit.

He said it was not about winning but about being part of a community development project.

“They sometimes practised while there were shootings in the evening,” he said.

He said even though they did not all take the actual title, entering the completion was enough.

“Even if you lose in the first round, the fact that you came with your God-given talent for me is a win,” he said.

The winner, Nasrullah Nazier said he could not contain his joy for snatching the Cape Town Metro Open Boxing Organisation Champion title.

Nasrullah (16) said it was a tough fight but he is glad and proud that he came out victorious. He said the win came as result of commitment and dedication from his side.

“To prepare for the tournament I had to train three times a day, every day,” he shared.

He added that it was not always easy to achieve as he had to train the younger boxers sometimes.

The winner was excited and said he will rest for a little while, but he intends on competing in the provincial and national level in the future.

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