Boxing gymnasiums, youth employment and economic devt (2)
The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) completed the Bukom Boxing Arena at the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra in 2016.
The 4000-seat arena was rapidly put to use, hosting both local and international events.
Former world champions, Isaac Dogboe and Emmanuel Tagoe, attracted foreign funds for the country when their promotional organisations hosted world title fights at the Arena.
Boxing involves more than just the boxers; spectators play a vital role, and attendance is critical to the sport's future. SSNIT observed this when they worked with a
boxing expert, Mr Moses Foh Amoaning, to arrange the ‘Bukom Fist of Fury’ boxing league for youngsters.
Young athletes were pitted against one another to sharpen their skills and attain their full potential.
SSNIT's goal to see the sport grow and develop included providing a venue for the “Bukom Fist of Fury” to allow these youths to exhibit the talents.
In a conversation with the CEO of the Trust Sports Emporium, Madam Shirley Acquah Harrison, she stressed the importance of boxing to the emporium and the surrounding communities where this gigantic facility is located.
“We give discounts to all boxing activities here because we believe it is very important for the community and inhabitants in the locality, any boxing competition at the Arena is given a discount, largely we are focused on the amateur side of the sport that has pertinent needs and subsequently we have made equipment and item donations such as boxing ring, gloves, mouth-guard, mitts, punching bags, boots to the Ghana Boxing Federation,” she explained.
She also stated that her company gave free training facilities for Black Bombers squad and other professional boxers who lacked certain training amenities in their gyms.
“We are working with the GBF to liaise with corporate bodies to sponsor their activities because amateurs don't have any funds from anywhere, and let's face it, boxing has given us more medals and laurels than any other sport in the country,” she continued.
The Arena now serves as the home of the Deluxy Professional Boxing competition, a boxing competition in which professionals compete for money and a living.
Both fans and fighters have embraced the league.
The Arena attracts a significant number of boxing fans, and businesses such as restaurants, pubs and drink vendors have set up shop to capitalise on the enthusiasm/frenzy.
Every two weeks, a mini-economy is built around the league.
Boxers that compete in the league earn money and can support their families.
Retailers who sell on the Arena's premises also go home with cash in hand, while bystanders enjoy the thrills generated by the mayhem in the ring.
The Trust Sports Emporium is one of several facilities in the Greater Accra region of the country.
The Accra Stadium’s Dayaram Gangaram (D.G) Hathiramani Hall functioned as an indoor boxing venue prior to the development of the Ga Mashie Hall at the Trust Sports Emporium.
SSNIT must now replicate structures like the Bukom Boxing Arena in other parts of the country. It will be a difficult task but once completed, it will create jobs, train more boxers for national service and expand our economy.
Boxing is becoming more popular in the Northern and Western hemispheres.
A few months ago, business entrepreneur Daniel McKorley, alias McDan, staged a talent exhibition in Tamale, where numerous boxers were discovered.
This is because Mr Twintoh Walker, the Ghana Boxing Authority's Western and Central Region Chairman, has boosted the sport's quick expansion in those two regions.
The nation's boxing economy will see a bright take off with the requisite infrastructural investment from an agency like SSNIT in these locations, paired with the institution's deliberate hunting and harnessing of talents.
With the necessary infrastructural investment from an agency like SSNIT in these places, combined with the institution's deliberate hunting and harnessing of talents, the nation's boxing economy will witness a bright take off.