1st Boxing Academy Under Construction in Makeni by Former UK-Based Boxer

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Boxing Academy.
Boxing Academy.

A former top boxer in Sierra Leone, Abdul Rashid Bangura, currently residing in London, is constructing the first boxing academy in Makeni which will be named the New Age Boxing Academy.

An alumnus of Old Edwardian and ex-boxer, Abdul Rashid Bangura, narrated how he got the inspiration to undertake the construction of the academy in order to keep his father’s legacy alive, a promise he said was made before his father, who was a former boxing trailblazer and coach died in 2014.

“This project is done to honor the strides of my father to make boxing an attainable sport in the country,” he disclosed adding that his boxing career started in Makeni, but unfortunately could not represent Makeni furthering how the academy project in the Northern City is one to show how grateful he is to have started his journey from there.

Abdul Rashid Bangura is a level three (3) boxing coach in England who has coached boxers that have won high-profile bouts in the UK. He intimated that his aim of constructing the academy as a non-profit entity is to give hope to young Sierra Leonean talents who may have the thought all is lost.

“My desire was always to give back to Sierra Leone. During my early days in the UK, things weren’t as good as expected, but that did not deter my plans to help my nation through boxing,” he said.

“One of my aims in constructing this academy is to ensure we change the mindsets of the youths, which is from drug addiction, gangsterism and other stuff that can jeopardize their wellbeing,” he added disclosing how he wants young people to use the academy as a tool to change negative narratives and better themselves in society by becoming better boxers and sportsmen.

Visiting the construction site on Saturday, 25th June 2022, the General Secretary of the Sierra Leone Boxing Association (SLBA), Alhaji Komba, lauded the initiative and work already done. “This is just the best payback any Sierra Leonean out there and back home can give to a discipline that gave him joy,” he expressed excitement.

“This is a huge project, a big boost not only for people here in Makeni, but Sierra Leone as a whole. Abdul Rashid Bangura’s initiative is laudable and as an association, we applaud him for being able to draw up such an initiative and putting on this wonderful structure,” he continued.

Komba further stated that Abdul Bangura’s construction of the New Age Boxing Academy has given a lifeline to the combat sport by expanding its arenas within the four corners of the country.

“We have boxing rims in Freetown at the Siaka Stevens Stadium and in Bo at the Bo Stadium, and the construction of this one (though privately owned), will give visibility to the sport and will also create the eagerness for more young boys and girls to show more interest towards it”.

He called on more Sierra Leoneans out there with the capacity to come on board in promoting the boxing sport in whatever way they can.

The New Age Boxing Academy is a one-story building with a gym, a boxing rim, an office, and a hostel that will accommodate over thirty young boxers.

Boxing Academy.
Boxing Academy.

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