THE Papua New Guinea Amateur Boxing Federation (PNGABF) received a timely boost of K5,000 from Western province Governor Dr Bob Danaya yesterday.
Boxing is not a popular sport in the province but the governor felt that it must be encouraged there in order to keep young men and women away from engaging in illegal and anti-social activities.
It is this motivation that prompted Dr Danaya to take the first step and invest in amateur boxing in a bid to take some of its programmes to Western province and “spread the gospel” of the code.
“I made a commitment during a fundraising drive for the PNG Amateur Boxing Federation earlier this year and this is the fulfilment of that promise,” he said.
“It is up to the amateur boxing body to effectively implement their programmes in the province,” Dr Danaya said.
He also called on the National Government to invest in sports as this was a key area which youths could engage in and refrain from getting involved in negative activities.
“It is a very crucial aspect of nation building,” he said. Dr Danaya also described former top boxers including Martin Benny and John Abba as individuals who motivated the public and who had set the benchmark in the sport of boxing.
He added that if the right support was given to the boxers, PNG could produce elite boxers who could become champions at the international level.
The President of PNGABF Lohial Nuao thanked Dr Danaya for the assistance saying the support would go a long way to better prepare PNG boxers for the upcoming events and polish up their acts administratively and technically.
Nuao said the PNGABF were looking at the possibility of conducting development programmes and promoting the code in the Western province for the community at large, particularly the youths.
On the professional boxing scene Daru-based company May Fuels Ltd have backed the career of former PNG amateur super welterweight champion (70kg) John Deklam seeing him win his first two pro bouts this year against local and overseas opponents .
Dr Danaya has also supported professional boxing in the country recently attending boxing shows run by the PNG Professional Boxing Ltd.