By Trevor Makonyonga
Zimbabwe is set to have Mixed Martial Arts added as a competitive sport as Zimbabwe National Boxing and Wrestling Control Board has moved towards the commencement of the sport in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare, ZNBCWB Marketing Officer, Sharon Dive said that MMA will help to promote health, wellness and fitness.
Dive said, “ZNBCWB intends not only to use introduce mixed martial arts as competitive sport but also as a tool to promote health, wellness and fitness throughout the country working with gyms and trainers. As you are aware mixed martial arts training provides complete fitness workouts as it incorporate diverse combat fighting styles.”
To kick start the sport in Zimbabwe, a course for officials and coaches will be hosted at Rainbow towers in Harare from 29-30 October.
Dive said, “The training will be hosted in partnership with Mixed Martial Arts South Africa who are our training partner. The course will be facilitator is Ferdi Basson a former Professional Mixed Martial Arts Champion, renowned South African Mixed Martial Arts Coach and International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Accredited Referee. Ferdi is the Founder of Junkyard MMA a mixed martial arts club that has produced professional and amateur mixed martial artists, kick-boxers and boxers in South Africa. He serves as an Executive Board Member for Mixed Martial Arts South Africa and has overseen competitions such as MMA African Championship and officiated over 700 MMA Amateur and Professional Matches. The target group for the training consists of anyone who is passionate about fitness and combat sports. This includes boxers, judokas, wrestlers, karatekas, technical officials of combat sport, leaders of combat sport organisations (public and private) and fitness organizations. As part of our inclusion thrust and gender drive the course will be open to women and as well as persons with disabilities. We will also ensure that participants are drown from across the country’s ten region so that no community is left behind.”
Also speaking at the event, Etcetera Media and Deltaforce Promotions’ Eric Kandiwa said that it is important to have a solid MMA structure locally to ensure a grooming ground for athletes.
Kandiwa said, “As Etcetera Media and Deltaforce Promotions, a combat sports promotion consortium, we are very excited by the current developments. MMA as a relatively young sport, less that three decades old, has fast risen into a globally popular sport with a multi-billion dollar valuation, therefore it only make financial sense for Zimbabwean stakeholders to jump in on the opportunity as there’s already evidence of a keen following on the Zimbabwean market with the emergence of MMA champions like Themba Magorimbo. Having structures that support these talents and the growth of the Sport on the home front is very crucial and we applaud the initiatives geared towards that end.”
Skwetal’s Walter Marara said, “We as Perfect Design Zimbabwe housing the Skwetal sports brand and also representing the stakeholders consortium are proud to be part of this inaugural inception of MMA in Zimbabwe. We are coming in to bring a new breed of sporting apparels for all sporting disciplines and sports events. We want to help to effect change of the face of sports. In so doing we will also gain mileage in terms of visibility and awareness of our sporting apparels and also sports events management. We also encourage other stakeholders to support the local sports so the as a nation we can uplift and support local talents.”
The October 29-30 course fee will be US$50 which will cover certification and learning materials.