Kickboxing reaches northern regions

By Michael Uugwanga

AS part of its awareness-raising campaign about the sport, the Namibian Kickboxing Federation toured the northern region the past weekend to, among other things, identify future kickboxers.

The team was led by Namibian Karate Federation president Anita de Klerk, flanked by two renowned kickboxers Delano Müller and Lesley !Hoaeb and toured places like Tsumeb, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Oshakati and the Kunene Region. Müller is a multiple winner of the annual Namibia Sport Awards’ Young Sportsman of the Year prize.

“The trip so far was very successful, despite the time being too short to reach out to more people in those areas. Delano did motivational seminars by conducting a training camp in the north in order for him to give hopes to those young people that wants to pursue a career in kickboxing.

There was an overwhelming response and we were welcomed by the most amazing, friendly and talented young people. There was a huge turnout and people are very eager to take up the sport, however Namibia does not have enough instructors and kickboxing in Namibia only started three years ago,” said de Klerk in an interview with Confidente Sport.

It is against this background that de Klerk said the trip in the northern regions was an eye opener that the federation will need to redouble its efforts, despite the lack of resources.

“We plan to host competitions every six to eight weeks come next year after we bought a boxing ring and the athletes can no longer wait for 2020. Namibian Karate Federation had a huge success 2019 and the accomplishments of the students speak for itself. Due to financial constraints and lack of funding and sponsorship, it is very difficult to make all visions and dreams possible.

“Through the kind assistance of Bernhard Kamatoto from Erongo Region Boxing, we managed to reach out to boxers to join forces and make the sport more accessible. We are busy making assessments to see what the needs and possibilities are. Our plans are to grow the sport, making it more accessible for everyone, helping out with self-defence and workshops to empower women in sport,” said de Klerk.

In turn, Müller (15) stressed that one of the key requirements for a kick-boxer and those that want to pursue in kickboxing is to remain disciplined. He is a featherweight world champion, a title he won in the Battle of Atlanta in the U.S.A this year.

“My biggest goal is to make a positive impact in someone’s life. I conducted motivational seminars and training camps and hope that I can change the living standards of young people. There are many young fighters in our country that have the talent and ability to change their lives for the better and to also get them focused.

“This can be achieved by providing them with a solid structure and the right equipment. Children must have the support they need to thrive and grow up to their full potential and contribute productively to development of Namibia,” Müller remarked.

He also donated boxing gloves to young fighters in need, to motivate the future stars to train and reach their full potential. He used some of the money he won at the Namibia Sport Awards in October to buy the gloves for new fighters.