THE Masvingo Boxing Federation moved a step forward in preparing for the National Youth Games set to be hosted by the province from August 16 to 24 by selecting a 11-member boxing team that will represent the province in this year's event.
The team, which has both male and female categories, was selected at the Provincial Inter-schools Boxing Championships that were held last Saturday at Gibbo Boxing Arena in Triangle.
Six schools from the province which have adopted boxing as a sport took part in the provincial championships. They included Terry Goss, Mufakose, Mutirikwi High School (Triangle), Hippo Valley High School, Mkwasine High School and Masuture Baptist Secondary School (Mwenezi).
The major highlights of the tournament were Levy Kasirai of Terry Goss High School whose defence, counter attacks and combinations were so impressive in the light weight category.
Freeman Mabvongwe of Hippo Valley was unstoppable with his trademark terrific hard punches which saw him sailing through on knockouts and retirements to emerge light-welter weight champion.
Trade Nkomozabo and Praise Hove of Mufakose High School didn't participate. They automatically qualified into the provincial team by being part of the National Squad selected to represent Zimbabwe at the Region V Youth Games to be held in Bulawayo in December.
In the female category, outstanding performance came from Theresa Machava (Child MP for Mwenezi East) of Masuture Baptist Secondary School. She was so impressive with her ducking and parrying skills that were complemented by her hard jabs and an effective left uppercut.
In the featherweight category, Forgiveness Masara of Hippo Valley had an aggression which gave her opponents no time to breathe. In all her bouts, the referee had to stop the matches after her opponents sustained injuries.
Nyaradzo Sizani of Mutirikwi High School was also unstoppable in the bantam weight division in which she won through points in all fights due to the stiff competition in that category.
Masvingo Boxing Federation secretary general, Festus Dumbu, expressed satisfaction on the level of preparedness of the province ahead of the games.
"It's an honour to be part of the administration of a provincial federation with boxing clubs which are so hardworking. We started these preparations in September 2013 and it's encouraging to realise ourselves harvesting such elite boxing athletes ahead of the games. With Masvingo's record of boxing excellence, we are aware that every province would want to beat us," Dumbu said.
Meanwhile, the federation will hold its Provincial Boxing Champion of Champions tournament on July 19 at Chivaraidze Boxing Arena in Hippo Valley where other budding boxers who did not have a chance to take part in the previous tournament will be afforded a chance to challenge for slots in the provincial team.