Dumisani Mofu has a mission not only to encourage youth involvement in sports but to empower them educationally as well so that they can have something to fall back on after their playing days are over. The Open Boxing Organisations a self-run project whose aim is to create whole rounded athletes by promoting discipline and education so that they can represent South Africa internationally. King Williams Town Express caught up with him to find out about how his organisation helps the youth.
King Express: Give us a brief background about your project?
DumileMofu: In 1995 the Eastern Cape Amateur Boxing Organisation was formedand when it fragmented around the province, numerous development projects were initiated including the coaching and education awareness, which gave birth to this project.
KWE: Why was it formed and how did the idea come about?
DM: Africa is one of the continents that has less qualified people in the world where you will find us not achieving as we want to internationally. So to have skilled people in our shores will better our chances hence we run coaching clinics and educational programmes.
KWE: Where is it operational?
DM: All districts of the Eastern Cape province are involved like OR Tambo, BCM, Chris Hani, Amathole, Sara Batman, Nelson Mandela Metro, Joe Gqabi and Alfred Nzo.
KWE: Who are you targeting and give the number of young people you are dealing with at the moment?
DM: Every person involved in the development side and affiliated to the organisation is been considered. We deal with specifically young boxers from schools between the ages of 12 to 18 years and as well as older men and women, the number is around 600 in total.
KWE: Who are your funders and or partners that you work with?
DM: Unfortunately we don’t have funders, we only get some assistance from the Sports Council Eastern Cape and this is not enough, it only enable us to reach 65% of our targeted market.
KWE: Is funding the only major hurdle you are experiencing?
DM: It’s not only the organisation that encounter challenges but young people in sport. Most of them are facing various difficulties that are not sports related, as much as we try to we are unable to assist them all.
KWE: Given such challenges, is the project yielding positive results?
DM: Yeswe have produced 40 qualified national and international boxing referees and judges, and 25 national and international couches with our limited resources.
KWE:What are your plans for the project going forward?
DM: We have bigger plans for the project especially in the educational sector and at the moment we have a rural development programme at hand which is one our plans to grow the project bigger.