Kickboxing federation appeals for support ahead of continental championship

Kickboxing federation appeals for support ahead of continental championship
South Sudan kickboxers show their talents during the fundraising on Monday in Juba. [Photo: Courtesy]

The South Sudan Kickboxing Federation (SSKF) has appealed to the government, partners, and other private sector organisations for assistance as it prepares for regional and international tournaments in the coming months.

The President of the South Sudan Kickboxing Federation, Puro Okelo, made the call at a one-day fundraising event in Juba on Monday to gather support for the forthcoming African Continental World Muay Thai Championship (ACWMTC). 

Mr. Okelo, who also coaches the country’s kick-boxers, said the next few months are going to be hectic for his lads as they prepare to represent the country.

However, he added, that the boxers would not be able to do so unless they received the necessary support.

“Today’s event is primarily to raise some funds to prepare for the forthcoming games, which will begin with the largest one in the country next month (African Continental World Muay Championship (ACWMC) in Juba),” said Okelo.

“But before the games, there is a need for the team to organise what is necessary, including training and player fitness, and for the kickboxing, the boys need to be provided with boxing tools, even their diets need to be better, “he stated.

According to Mr. Okelo, the federation was meant to be sponsored by the government. However, he said the government had not provided any support since its establishment.

He said it has made it impossible for his boys to compete in a variety of sports.

Okelo stated that despite the hardships his federation is facing, the men are still performing wonders in the region, emphasising that if help was always on their side, the country would be great in the region and throughout the world.

“That is why we are saying, let us come together and contribute something to support them because they are not doing it for themselves, but they are raising the flag of the country. Let us not only wait for them to struggle to achieve something but instead support them to achieve it, “he added.

Last week, South Sudan’s kickboxing champion, James Majok Gau, expressed similar sentiments, saying that a lack of support from the government is making them unable to achieve their dreams for the country.

“I am prepared, even if it is today or tomorrow. I will be ready to face whoever comes my way,’’ he said.

He the added, “We do not get support from any partners or government, so we train on our own, but that will not stop me from representing my country. I hope if the support was there, everything would have been in a better place.’’

He called on the government and other well-wishers to help them realise their dreams, arguing that such support would help them conquer opportunities.

Majok will battle it out against Sudan’s Mohammed Abdullah on May 6 in Juba.

The fundraising was attended by kickboxing lovers from other countries who are currently based in Juba, including from South Africa, Canada, the USA, Cameroon, and other neighbouring countries like Kenya and Uganda.