SPORTS

Blas Backs Female Boxers

Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) secretary general Ricardo Blas believes Fijian female amateur boxers should be given the opportunity to compete in regional and international games. This was after female
30 Apr 2017 11:12
Blas Backs Female Boxers

Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) secretary general Ricardo Blas believes Fijian female amateur boxers should be given the opportunity to compete in regional and international games.

This was after female boxer Visila Kolitapa raised her concern to SUNsports yesterday that they are given less opportunity to compete in regional games.

“Leading up to the 2015 Pacific Games, we were told that they will take ten male and three female boxers to Papua New Guinea,” she said.

“In the last minute they told me that they can’t take us because we don’t have any opponents. I’m one of those female boxers that promotes boxing, it is  my talent, it’s my dream and my aim is to become a champion and I hope the committee can see that.

“My family have sacrificed a lot in me during my preparation and I’m forever grateful for their support and I know I have the ability and potential for the sport.”

Blas told SUNsports at the Atheletes Forum which is currently held at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour that for a national federation to have an excuse that there are not many female boxers is simply not an excuse at all.

“Just because they can’t find opponents you don’t give these female boxers the opportunity. I think it’s in the best interest of any sporting country if you don’t have the resources contact the regional body who has female representatives either in the Oceania or in Asia that has female boxers.

“There is also a US training camp and Fiji has a direct contact to the US Olympic committee to ask them if they can take female athletes to teach them and provide training programme and even compete.”

Blas also stated there is a boxing training camp in Kazakhstan which Fiji could try and send female boxers.

When contacted, FABA president Manasa Baravilala was not available for comment.

 

Journey to excellence

As the new Olympic cycle for 2017-2020 begins the athletes are being reminded of their roles during the forum which they can take back to their respective countries.

“These athletes forum basically focuses on the NOC whose athletes’ forum is strong and functioning while some don’t really exist as we’ve started to learn in the last couple of days.

“The whole focus is to empower the athletes that they can take this knowledge back to their countries so that they can continue to engage their national federations and get them to establish their commission as this will strengthen their Olympic movement,” Blas added.

He also said that one of the main issues being brought up during the forum is the athlete’s relationship with their various National Olympic Committee (NOC).

“Many of them have been learning that there is no direct engagement from their NOC’s and I think that is very evident in many of the countries.

“Another thing is the well-being of an athlete, this is one major challenge for all of us, some NOC lack resources to address these concerns while some bigger NOC are fully engaged but that doesn’t really mean they will have that full support. What the athletes will learn here will empower them to take them to the next level,” he added.

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