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BFK to send 10 female boxers to AIBA championship

Monday August 19 2019

National women boxing coach Benjamin Musa (right) monitors middle weight Boxers Elizabeth Andiego (left) in a spar against Lilian Achieng during a training session at the Kenya Police Depot in Mathare, Nairobi on July 30, 2019 in preparation for the Africa Games to be held in Morocco from August 19-31, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

National women boxing coach Benjamin Musa (right) monitors middle weight Boxers Elizabeth Andiego (left) in a spar against Lilian Achieng during a training session at the Kenya Police Depot in Mathare, Nairobi on July 30, 2019 in preparation for the Africa Games to be held in Morocco from August 19-31, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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Kenya is set to send a full squad of 10 boxers to the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Women World championships slated for October 2 to 14 in Ulan Ude city in Russia.

The team and officials who will travel to Russia will be announced on September 15.

This is the first time Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) is planning to send such a big squad of female boxers for an international assignment.

“We want to make sure our women who are talented in boxing taste the international arena and our projection is to send 10 boxers to Russia,” said BFK competition secretary John Waweru in a telephone interview from Rabat in Morocco.

The African Games starts on Tuesday in Rabat, Morocco and Kenya will be represented by four female boxers namely Christine Ongare (flyweight), Everlyne Akinyi (lightweight), Lorna Kusa (welterweight) and Elizabeth Akinyi (middleweight).

Waweru said that many upcoming female boxers are yearning to climb the ring following the exploits of World Boxing Council (WBC) World super bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika in the professional ranks.

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“Zarika may be a lone ranger but many upcoming boxers are motivated by her sterling performance in the ring and that is why BFK wants to send a full squad of women boxers to give them exposure,” said Waweru.

According to Waweru, the cash reward Ongare received after winning a bronze medal in last year's Commonwealth Games has also changed the mindset of female boxers in the country.

“They (female boxers) are now realising that they could change their fortunes by earning a living in the ring,” he added.

Majority of Kenyan boxers are drawn from low income areas such as Mathare, Huruma and Dandora in Nairobi's Eastlands.

“The newly elected boxing administration is keen on revamping boxing by taking it to grassroots through the programme dubbed boxing mashinani by involving the youth,” revealed Waweru.

Many teams in the Kenya National Boxing League are encouraging women to join them in a bid to attract more women to the game. In the first leg in Nakuru, 22 women were on parade and a total of 19 women participated in the Kenya Open in Mombasa.

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