OBFT unfazed by scholarship snub by Olympic Solidarity  

24Jun 2022
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
OBFT unfazed by scholarship snub by Olympic Solidarity  

​​​​​​​THE Tanzania Open Boxing Federation (OBFT) has said the decision by Olympic Solidarity (OS) to opt-out of awarding the country's boxers scholarships to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics will motivate the pugilists to work hard.

Magereza Boxing Club's Issa Athuman (R) trades blows with JKT Club's Boniface Mlingwa in one of the 2021 National Boxing Championship's fights, which took place at Tanganyika Packer's venue in Dar es Salaam recently. Mlingwa won by points. PHOTO: CORRESPONDENT JUMANNE JUMA

Recently Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) announced that the OS has awarded five Tanzanian athletes the opportunity to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, but despite sending the names of six local boxers, they were not offered the scholarship.

Lukelo Wililo, OBFT secretary-general, confirmed that they sent the names to OS through TOC but said the snub will make local boxers step up their preparations ahead of the Paris Games.

"Yes, we sent six names of our local boxers to be considered for the OS scholarships but they were not considered. This will just make us work hard and probably win medals at the Paris Olympics, for now, our focus is on the coming Commonwealth Games that will have the country field three boxers," he said.   

OBFT applied for scholarships for Alex Isendi, Mussa Maregesi, Justine Chota, Alex Sulwa, and Yusuf Changalawe.

Filbert Bayi, TOC secretary-general, recently said his committee applied for scholarships for 16 athletes featuring in athletics, boxing, judo, and swimming, but OS has granted the scholarships to five athletes.

The official said the OS scholarships which are worth $1,500 a month are handed to young promising athletes to prepare them to be future champions and begin once the athletes sign the contract and end in August 2024.

The TOC official said boxing did not meet the required conditions which include competing at World Boxing Championships.

He asked the beneficiaries to make use of the opportunity to prepare well for the Paris Olympics.

The first beneficiaries of the OS scholarships were Micheal Sarwatt and Marko Hhawu who went to the United States of America.

Hawa Hussein that went to Kip Keino High Attitude Training Center in Kenya to prepare for Sydney 2000 Olympics was the other beneficiary.

In preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics, athlete Fabian Joseph was the beneficiary while ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympics swimmer Collins Saliboko was the beneficiary.

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