The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Coltart Unveils New Boxing Board

COULD the winds of change be finally blowing in the administration of local boxing?

After more than 30 years at the helm, the Richard Hondo-led boxing board has been technically

knocked out from the corridors of power with a new committee headed by Paul Nenjerama, assuming office.

Nenjerama, who is also the chairman of the judges' panel for the Annual National Sports Persons of the Year Awards, heads the nine-member committee that was unveiled yesterday.

Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture, David Coltart, yesterday also included Lorraine Muringi in the new structure.

Muringi made history when she became the first woman in Zimbabwe to acquire a boxing promoter's licence back in 1985.

Back then, boxing was a male-dominated sport but Muringi made inroads through her Ring Boxing Stable.

Coltart has also appointed Farai Muchena, the owner of Hunyani Boxing Promotions, respected boxing trainer Ed Hammond, and Tsitsi Muzuva to the new structures.

Alex Kwangwari, journalist Gilbert Munetsi and Rangarirai Dzimba have also been appointed to the new board.

The new board will assume office on February 1, 2013, and their tenure will end on January 31, 2016.

Coltart pushed out the previous board that had Hondo, Tobaiwa Mudede and Patrick Mukondiwa as the known members.

In November last year, Coltart dissolved the previous board that had been running the show for over three decades.

"I am pleased to announce my appointment of a new Zimbabwe National Boxing Board and Control in terms of the Chapter 25:02 of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act with effect from February 1, 2013. The board's tenure will last until January 31st 2016," said Coltart in a statement.

The once popular sport of boxing had nosed-dived over the years with few tournaments being held and little achievements to write home about.

"The state of boxing in Zimbabwe has been in dire straits with no functional and substantive board for over a decade.

"In recent years, boxing has been characterised by sporadic local tournaments and poor performances at international levels.

"The boxers had become inactive, hence it is virtually impossible to rank them to promote competitiveness," said Coltart

The Minister said the mandate of the new board is to restore Zimbabwe as a top boxing nation and revive the glory days of yesteryear boxers like Langton "Schoolboy" Tinago, Proud " Kilimanjaro" Chinembiri, Stix Macloud and Zvenyika Arifonso.

In selecting the new board, the Sports Commission made consultations with stakeholders drawn from promoters, medical field, former boxers, trainers and sports administrators.

Yesterday, Barthlowmew Dendere, who headed the ad - oc Zimbabwe Boxing Committee that gave some of their recommendations to the Sports Commission, expressed confidence that the fortunes of the sport will start to improve.

"We see the coming of a new board as a positive step and it's important to move forward.

"There is no need to pick squabbles now," said Dendere.

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