•He was included in the team of coaches after announcing his retirement in October 2022.
•Okoth also said he will have to expose the young boxers to more high-intensity sessions to pump more gas into their lung
Retired Hit Squad captain Nick ‘Commander’ Okoth has said he is enjoying his new role as national youth team coach.
Okoth comprised the technical bench that guided the Hit Squad delegation that traveled to Tanzania in mid-January.
He was included in the team of coaches after announcing his retirement in October 2022.
“I feel very motivated in my first job as a coach of the youth team. They are the future of Kenyan boxing,” Okoth said.
“I do all the training with them because I’m still very fit. As a coach, it’s important to show physically what you teach your boxers if you can afford it.”
“I enjoy every minute. I tell the boxers to relax and enjoy themselves in the ring. I also tell them not to think too much about winning but to make sure they are on top of their game.”
“Some of them still need to refine their skills but that’s something we cannot do much about because of the small amount of time we have left on our hands. At the moment, our main focus is our upcoming trip to Spain.
“I’ve taken some vital notes on the areas that need improvement and I intend to share the notes with their coaches in the coming days given they come from different clubs.”
Okoth also said he will have to expose the young boxers to more high-intensity sessions to pump more gas into their lungs.
“I’ve been taking them through some jogging sessions in the last few days, urging them to punch above their weight in training. It’s the only way they can succeed in boxing.”
He said the young people have found it easy to get along with him because they see him as a fellow boxer.
Meanwhile, Hit Squad head coach, Benjamin Musa, believes the local boxing scene will thrive under the new Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ababu Namwamba.
Musa said when the CS took office, he made an effort to meet with a team from the Boxing Federation of Kenya to chart the way forward.
“He expressed a desire to work closely with the federation right from the start and asked us what he could do to improve the game in the country,” Musa said.
The seasoned gaffer played down reports that the government had turned its back on the Kenyan youngsters who failed to travel to Spain in November for the World Youth Boxing championships.
“The trip came during transition just when the new CS was taking over and so there is very little he could have done to address the situation,” Musa said.
Musa has tipped the country to shine in 2023, adding that Hit Squad’s successful trip to Tanzania had set the season in motion.
“The team’s overall performance during the East Africa boxing championship was commendable and augured well for the sport this season.”
He commended the youth team for proving their mettle on the international stage after they bagged four gold, silver and bronze.
“We were satisfied with their performance and we are glad they brushed aside the heartbreak they suffered when they failed to travel to Spain to put up such a gallant fight in Tanzania.
“Considering how our young players have played, I can say that we will have no problem replacing the old boxers when they finally decide to retire in the future.”