S. Sudan kick-boxers beg for funds to honour major championships
South Sudanese kickboxers could miss up to four major continental championships due to a lack of funds.
Starting with the World Association of Kickboxing Organization (WAKO) Championship in South Africa, the kickboxers require in excess of seven million pounds to honour the forthcoming events, including the 2014 Olympics Qualifiers.
The WAKO championship, a precursor for the 2024 Paris Olympics, will be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 26 and 28 August 2022.
After Jo’burg, South Sudan Kickboxing Federation plans to send athletes to Cairo, Egypt for the African MMA Championships.
Among the athletes expected in Cairo include James Majok Gau, currently ranked first in East Africa; Eddy Jadallah Lado. The Cairo even will run from August 31 through September 3.
Three days later, the country is set to take part in the World MauyThai Organization Continental Belt (WMO) tournament in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia.
According to Puro Okello, South Sudan Kickboxing Federation president, the federation requires $14,000 (SSP 7 million) to honour all the championships.
Okello, however, claims that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is yet to release funds just days before they travel to South Africa.
“I do not understand what is going on,” said Okello.
“We have sent all the requests to the ministry of youth and sports, including the national Olympic committee, but as we talk now, all of them are in Wau to celebrate Olympic Day, and they are forgetting that their boys are going to participate somewhere,” Okello added.
Okello added they are yet to confirm their slot at the WAKO African Championship. “We were supposed to send the names of players in early June, but nothing has happened so far,” he added.
Okello added that for the training to be successful, there is a need for something for the boys.
He called on the ministry of youth and sports to always stop giving excuses for not having a budget for the sports activities in the country.
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