Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
LOCAL kick-boxers are in for a treat today when they battle it out in the Africa Day tournament being hosted by the Zimbabwe Kick-boxing Association in Chitungwiza. The annual event set for Zengeza 4 is also a platform for most of the participants to earn their tickets into the national team to represent the country in an international tournament in Namibia, in September.
ZKA president Tony Kamangira said the event is part of the many tournaments lined up for this year in a move aimed to drive the growth of the sport.
“We are having tournaments every month because previously not all provinces were vibrant. But now all provinces are active. The Africa Day tournament it’s a traditional annual event and it’s also a selection event, a process we started last month when we had the Independence Trophy.
“We are selecting a team for the Desert Storm Two in Namibia. It’s an international tournament,” said Kamangira.
Warrior Blood School of Kick-boxing coach Brian Hangaika said this was an opportunity for them to showcase the sport to the people, so that they have an appreciation of what they do.
“We are preparing our fighters for international events. In September we are going for the Desert Storm in Namibia.
“So we are preparing for that participating in local tournaments. We want to show the nation what kick-boxing is, that’s why we have a number of females and juniors coming.
“We want to showcase kick-boxing, to promote it, so that people understand the sport. Our hope is for kick-boxing to become popular just like football.
“We want to have tournaments every month, it pushes our fighters to remain in top form because you find that when we go outside the country our counterparts are regularly competing,” said Hangaika.
Some of the top kick-boxers to feature in today’s tournament are Knowledge Nyamhuka and Walter Chiteto in the bantamweight division as well as Actions Winya and Edmond Kadera in the heavyweight section. In the women’s category Lisa Charakupa and Wendy Kabwibwi are some of the fighters set to battle it out today.
Winya said he is raring to go.
“Actually I am looking forward to seeing many fighters taking part and also spectators, so that we get more people interested in kick-boxing.”