Bombers team left in Limbo as NCS cancels boxing sport from EAC Games; Uncertainty surrounds their readiness

Bombers team left in Limbo as NCS cancels boxing sport from EAC Games; Uncertainty surrounds their readiness

By Emmanuel Sekago

With only two weeks to the start of the 2nd edition of the East Africa Community Games in  Kigali, Rwanda from February 1st to 20th 2024.

In a surprising turn of events, the National Sports Council (NCS) has decided to scrap boxing from the upcoming East African Community (EAC) Games scheduled for February 1, 2024. The decision has left the highly anticipated Bombers team in a state of uncertainty as they were gearing up for the competition.

Sources close to the team reveal that the Uganda  Bombers had been diligently preparing for the EAC Games, fine-tuning their strategies and honing their skills for the boxing matches. The abrupt cancellation has left the team questioning the rationale behind the NCS’s decision and pondering the fate of their rigorous training.

The Late Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivenjija during the 1st edition opening ceremony in Burundi,

Athletes and coaching staff expressed disappointment at the last-minute change, with many questioning the timing of the decision. The Bombers team, known for its dedication and commitment, was poised for a stellar performance, and the sudden cancellation has thrown their aspirations into disarray.

Officials from the Bombers camp are seeking clarification from the NCS on the reasons behind eliminating boxing from the EAC Games, emphasizing the impact on the athletes who had invested substantial time and effort into their preparations.

As the February 1 deadline approaches, the Bombers team remains in limbo, awaiting further directives from the sporting authorities. The sports community watches with bated breath as the fate of the Bombers in the EAC Games hangs in the balance.

However, the National council of sports has decided to field the following disciplines like: Athletics, Football, Basketball, Volleyball and Paralympics(Athletics).

Main document reflecting Boxing among the sporting disciplines at EAC games in Kigali, Rwanda

But according to the document seen by wallnetnews, Boxing is among the disciplines to be competed and will be at Kimisagara gymnasia and Kimironko community, with weight categories that will be used in EAC games II are; Men; Featherweight (54kg), Lightweight (57kg), Welterweight (63.5kg), Middleweight (71kg) and Cruiserweight (80kg), while Women category; Featherweight (54kg), Lightweight (57kg), Light welterweight (60kg), Welterweight (63kg) and Light middleweight (66kg).

It should be noted that the 1st Edition of the East African Community Games (EACoG) was  hosted by the Republic of Burundi from August 16th to 30th 2018 in the city of Bujumbura, and in the towns of Ngozi and Gitega, under the theme “Fostering EAC Integration and Peace through Sports.”

EACoG is a Regional Sports initiative that emanates from the decision of the 20th EAC Council of Ministers, which directed the Secretariat to organize and hold Sports Tournaments on regular basis with partnership of private sector, civil society, voluntary organizations/ institutions/individuals and Development Partners.

This was in recognition of the important role sports play towards reinforcing the spirit of East African unity and development and galvanizing a passionate, visionary and broad participation among the East African people, reflecting the basic principle of a people-centered regional integration.

Article 119 (a) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community states that: “The Partner States shall promote close co-operation amongst themselves in culture and sports with respect to the promotion and enhancement of diverse Sports activities”.

The overall objective of the EAC games is to foster regional integration and solidarity among the People of East Africa.

In the 1st edition, at the end of the 14-day gruelling competition in 12 disciplines, Uganda  bagged a number of medals (9) followed by Burundi (10), then Kenya (8), and Tanzania trailed with (4). The Republics of Rwanda and South Sudan did not show up for the event. The 12 sporting disciplines were Football (women), Netball (women), Volley Ball (men), Volley Ball (women), Rugby 7s (men), Lawn Tennis (men), Lawn Tennis (w), Boxing (men), Boxing (women), Karate (men) Half Marathon (men), and Half Marathon (women).

Uganda got five (5) Gold medals in Netball (w), Volley Ball (m), Volley Ball (w), Rugby 7s (m), and Boxing (m) with  two (2) Silver medals in Boxing (w) and Half Marathon (m); and two (2) Bronze medals in Lawn Tennis (m) and Lawn Tennis (w).

Burundi won three (3) Gold medals in Lawn Tennis (w), Boxing (w), and Karate (m); six (6) Silver medals in Football (w), Volley Ball (m), Volley Ball (w), Rugby 7s (m), Lawn Tennis (m), and Boxing (m); and one (1) Bronze medal in Netball (w).

Kenya took home three (3) Gold medals in Lawn Tennis (m), Half Marathon (m), and Half Marathon (w); three (3) Silver medals in Lawn Tennis (w), Karate (M), and Half Marathon (w); and two (2) Bronze medals in Half Marathon (m) and Half Marathon (w).

The United Republic of Tanzania took home only three medals; one (1) Gold medal in Football (w), one (1) Silver medal in Netball (w), and one (1) Bronze medal in Karate (m).

Meanwhile, by scrapping boxing off the roster for the upcoming East African Community (EAC) Games  the National Sports Council (NCS) has inadvertently plunged the highly-anticipated Bombers team into a state of uncertainty.

The decision has not only disrupted the meticulous preparations of the talented boxing squad but has also raised questions about the transparency and communication surrounding such a significant alteration in the competition’s lineup.

The Bombers, known for their discipline and dedication, had been diligently gearing up for the challenges ahead, making the sudden cancellation all the more disheartening. As the athletes grapple with disappointment, officials and fans alike are left wondering about the rationale behind this last-minute change and its repercussions on the morale and future participation of the Bombers in regional All Africa  Games due to be held in Accra, Ghana and Paris2024 Olympic qualifiers in Italy and Thailand.

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