Yeoville boxing club, funded by the Department of sport, arts, culture and recreation through the City of Johannesburg and Region F sports and development, under the theme Blow by Blow: uproot HIV/AIDS, recently held an outdoor boxing awareness tournament to fight and inform people about the spread of the HIV virus at the Yeoville Park. The tournament had participation from 15 amateur boxers from some of the Inner City Johannesburg boxing clubs and each bout lasted 3 minutes.
RegionF, Sports Officer Outreach Philemon Mokgesi said “ The aim of this event is to see boxing clubs and any other sporting code within the Inner City come under one umbrella”, “which will be the Region F Boxing Association and other sports genres under the name of the sporting code, he said
Mokgesi said, “Today’s event is concentrating mainly on development of amateur boxing in this region and HIV/ AIDS awareness as we also have people from Wits Reproductive Health institute to advise people on any health issues they might have and to also test their HIV statuses.”
“As Region F sports and recreation, we are supporting on the format of logistics which entails the venue, chairs, security, and also making sure there are paramedic officer’s present and that the event is properly marketed,” explained Mokgesi.
Participant and amateur boxer from Dobsinville boxing club, Siyabonga Hlatywayo, said “boxing has always been our proud heritage; I don’t know why it took the death of Baby Jake Matlala for it to be revived,”
“Events such as these are good for us amateur boxers they help us adapt to huge crowds, so when we go to bigger stages it willmake things easier,” he added.
There are certain glitches that we boxers face which is sponsorships among other things, but in this South Africa you don’t get sponsors until one goes to a world stage by then one has already achieved your goals, said Hlatywayo
When asked to predict the outcome of the tournament, he said “I’m not one for predictions, I’m just here to have fun”.
The Department of Sport, Arts and Recreation, has two sections which it concentrates on, on the sports side,is sports development and HIV/AIDS awareness. The department gives funding from up to R150 000.The grant-In-Aid funding is given to various sport, arts and culture organisations to support their programmes that are aligned to the various strategies and mandates of the Department.