Adaptive (Para) Boxing Receives Support From NPC President

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Adaptive Boxing
Adaptive Boxing

Ghana Adaptive Boxing Federation is a newly formed governing body for the sport of Para‐Boxing in Ghana. The Federation is committed to developing Para‐Boxing as a national sport, from the recreational to elite level, supporting establishment of regulation and best practices.

The body serves as a democratic hub for national Para‐Boxing gyms, clubs and supports the growth of regulation and sport safety in the country by providing rules, regulations and governance, structured progression pathways, educational systems and licensing, which are developed democratically through the Federation’s elected board, expert committees and member platforms.

This process is a pathway towards promoting Adaptive Boxing into becoming a recognized Paralympic sport whose ultimate objective is the same as highest formal recognition possible for any sport. Recognition is even more critical for the safeguarding of Para‐Boxing’s participants worldwide. The challenges for Para‐Boxing are great, but so are the opportunities, and the sport should have no lesser ambition.

The ultimate goal for any disabled sportsperson is to represent their country in in international competitions of the Paralympics is not an exception. However, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says wheelchair boxing can only be considered for Paralympic participation if it meets the right criteria. “I’m interested to see what it has to offer,” said Craig Spence, Director of communications at the IPC.

A team of Executives from the Ghana Adaptive Boxing Federation (Para‐Boxing, Ghana) led by Mr. Collins Kofi Zoiku (Founder), Mr. Abubakar Samba (President) and Mr. Musah Toloba (2nd Vice President) paid a courtesy call to the President of National Paralympic Committee of Ghana (NPC‐Ghana) Mr. Samson Deen and his team on 6th July, 2023.

The meeting was to formally request for Recognition and Affiliation to the NPC‐Ghana, the Supreme governing body of all sports concerning persons with disability in Ghana.

WHAT IS PARA‐BOXING / WHEELCHAIR BOXING?

Adaptive sports provide a platform for athletes with disabilities to perform at the highest level. Out of this, the idea of Para and, or Wheelchair Boxing was nurtured. Para or Wheelchair boxing is an adaptation of BOXING for the physical challenged athletes. It is not merely for recreation but also added advantage of health benefits, harnessing of experiences through competitions and participations in elite platforms, financial gains through winnings and sponsorships, leading to a more competitive environment and athletes wanting to achieve the highest levels of performance and skills, as defined according to Physiopedia.

The main world governing body is the International Adaptive Boxing Federation (IABF); founded in Canada by Aaron Kinch (Canada), Collins Kofi Zoiku (Ghana), Kanika Chaudhary (India), Joost Van de Lee (Netherlands), Olando Farias Perez (Argentina), Abel Al Rahman Salameh (Jordan) and Ben Griffin (USA).

Para‐Boxing is the world’s fastest growing Parasport with an estimated 2.3 million followers across the globe. It has a modern classification system that recommends pairing of physical challenged athletes on an even playing field seated in special wheelchairs with wide range of wheelchair belts, lap belts, and support straps to enable versatile, abdominal support, and also securing the legs around the thighs or calves for more intense maneuvering in the ring.

The Rules of the game are similar to that of mainstream boxing. The competitors are classified according to the levels of their disabilities and can compete in 6 different weight categories. The system also adopts a point scoring system that measures the number of landed clean blows devoid of causing physical damage to competitors. Bouts consist of three rounds of two minutes in every round, and each with a one‐minute interval between rounds.

As adopted from the main stream AIBA Olympics rules, Competitors wear protective headgear and gloves with a white strip or circle across the knuckle. The white end is just a way to make it easier for judges to score clean hit or punch. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands cleanly on the head or the upper body (preferably, chest area) with sufficient force is awarded a point.

A referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows. Referees also ensure that the boxers don’t use holding tactics to prevent the opponent from swinging. If this occurs, the referee separates the opponents and orders them to continue boxing. Repeated holding can result in a boxer being penalized or ultimately disqualified. Referees will stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the score is severely imbalanced.

PRESIDENT OF AFRICAN PARALYMPICS COMMITTEE (AFPC) ON ADAPTIVE BOXING

Mr. Samson Deen, President of National Paralympic Committee of Ghana (NPC-Ghana) and President of African Paralympics Committee (AFPC) welcomed the delegation of the Ghana Adaptive Boxing Federation (Para‐Boxing) at his office.

“Beyond physical well‐being, sport can play an important role for a safer, more prosperous and more peaceful society through its educational values, sport can help bridge cultural and ethnic divides, create jobs and businesses, promote tolerance and non‐discrimination, reinforce social integration, and advocate healthy lifestyles. Through sports development, we can achieve wider human development goals. I want to assure you that, National Paralympic Committee of Ghana (NPC‐Ghana) and the African Paralympic Committee (AfPC) will give you any support you may need to develop the sport across Africa”, the President said.

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