By Moses Muhangi
Above is the illustration of a FOP or Field Of Play in boxing, a field of play in football could mean the pitch, in basketball the court etc.
The FOP as shown in the illustration calls for 19 officials, at the very minimum for just 2 opposing boxers to fight each other, those 19 officials must be present and each must be paid. Ofcourse each of the 2 opposing boxers will have to come with his or her team of officials the 3/3 for red and blue corners. So in brief for just 2 boxers to fight , we need a minimum of 19 officials + 6 coaches + 2 opposing boxers = 26 people in the field of play
If there are more boxers fighting in the competition, then the number of officials have to be increased to cater for things like fatigue, neutrality, etc to make sure the competition is delivered with extreme fairness to the participants
Now beyond the field of play, you need an events management team, which deals with things like setting up the ring, setting up all those desks in the field of play, lighting up the field of play and the whole stadium, managing fans, hygiene of the stadium, sound, equipment etc.
You must have all those things in place for just 2 boxers to fight, and the fight will last for just 9min in open boxing and 36 min in pro boxing.
This is what makes our sport a bit expensive, ofcourse I have only discussed what happens in the competition area, but prior to the competition area, teams will have to prepare in their various gyms, transport boxers to competitions, dress them, training equipment etc.
So I think that all senior administrators of sports in uganda need to know some of these things, otherwise how do you administrate over sports sector when you don’t have much information about these details, the challenge you might face in that is you might allocate funds to a federation and you think its alot yet its just a drop in the ocean.
It is very important that the board at NCS, UOC and if possible colleagues at the Ministry of Education and Sports interest themselves in learning these basics hence helping them manage better.
Above I have discussed a scenario of a competition with just one ring depending on the number of boxers that have registered for the competition, if the number of registered boxers to participate is more, then we have to use 2 rings, meaning we double the officials as highlighted above plus venue hires.
A boxing tournament, lasts for minimum 8-10 days. So the cost to organise is on a daily basis.
In a year, we are supposed to have a minimum of 8 standard calender events, then trials for team selections, then international engagements whenever needed, then training camps etc.
I think its very important that our leaders in sport take time to understand these things, as that will help alot across all sports federations in Uganda, as I have a feeling each sport calls for different requirements
The writer (Moses Muhangi) is the President of Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF)