•Namwamba said during his recent visit to Cuba, his host had agreed to partner with Kenya in as far as training boxers, volleyballers, and sprints.
•In a rejoinder, the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) lauded the government’s plan to send the national boxing team, Hit Squad, to Cuba for intensive training.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba yesterday said plans are afoot to send the boxing team for training in Cuba ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Namwamba said during his recent visit to Cuba, his host had agreed to partner with Kenya as far as training boxers, volleyballers and sprints.
“We agreed that boxers will train in Cuba before flying directly to Paris,” he said. He said he believes the programme will go a long way in preparing Kenyan boxers and athletes for the Olympic Games.
In a rejoinder, the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) lauded the government’s plan to send the national boxing team, Hit Squad, to Cuba for intensive training.
Benjamin Musa, BFK’s national treasurer, termed the plan a step in the right direction. Musa, who also serves as Hit Squad’s head coach, was optimistic the move would help lead the national team to unprecedented heights.
“We welcome the idea wholesome because it’s long overdue. This is something that should have been implemented long ago,” Musa said.
“We’ve discovered that all successful boxing nations compete in at least 20 competitions annually,” he added.
“When we traveled to Uzbekistan for the World Championships, we observed camps being established for a number of age groups, including the Under 6, Under 12, and 15. The training they are receiving makes it clear that they will become champions in the future.”
Musa stated that they were keen to do whatever it takes to catapult Hit Squad back to its former glory, noting that the team had improved a lot in recent years.
“Considering a number of our boxers made the final 16 for the first time in 30 years, I must say we had a good show in Uzbekistan. At this point, winning a medal would be our next objective. Since 1988, Kenya has been without a medal."
He said there is a need for more government assistance to the team if they are to realise their dream.
“Lack of finances has seen the competition of the local pugilists take a hit unlike the years gone by when Robert Wangila pounded his way to win the Olympic gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Games,” Musa said.
The development comes some months after Hit Squad were promised two high-profile international exhibition games by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.