OSHAKATI – Patron of the MTC Kilimanjaro Boxing Club Erastus Uutoni has lauded the club’s founder Joseph Benhard for the remarkable success he has achieved with his stable over the years, saying Kilimanjaro’s rise testimony that all is possible with hard work and perseverance.
Uutoni, who is currently the country’s urban and rural development minister, made the remarks during the official opening of the Northern Regions Senior Amateur Boxing Championship held at the Oshakati Independence stadium over the weekend.
The amateur boxing championship was held on Saturday at the northern town and was staged by the MTC Kilimanjaro Boxing Club, which last year competed the line-up of MTC-sponsored boxing stables along with the Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy and Salute Boxing Academy.
Uutoni, also a former sports minister, said as patron of the boxing club, he has watched the rise of Benhard from a small time promoter with no sponsor on board to a prominent national boxing promoter now enjoying the financial backing of MTC.
“I have to say I am proud of what Benhard has achieved with the MTC Kilimanjaro Boxing Club; I watched him grow from with the stable from no sponsorship to now hosting a successful event of this magnitude.
I have watched this man navigate through all the struggles of life looking for sponsorship but today he has set up a world class event.
Although there were many disappointments along the way, his persistence and faith remained within him and now he is able to pull off a big event.
I want upcoming promoters to study and learn from this man’s journey. I am sure what he has done can instil hope in most of you. You should learn to be patient and persistent because if he can do it, you can do it too,” said a positive Uutoni.
He also said such events are important for regions, as they help bring people together and create opportunities for the youth.
“Having such tournaments bring about opportunities in our communities; people can at least sell a few of their goods to spectators, which assists in providing little income.
Our athletes are given hope to showcase talents that can be easily scouted and a lot more. I urge all of us to get involved in sport,” he added.
Benhard, who represented Namibia at the 1996 Olympics in the USA and also at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada, founded the Kilimanjaro Boxing Club in 2007 and has since embarked on a journey of promoting and developing boxing talents in the country, especially in the northern regions of Namibia.