The Kenya Kickboxing Federation Competition Secretary Takid Master has challenged the Kenya’s Ministry of Sports, private investors to come on board and elevate the game that is gaining momentum and popularity countrywide.

Master’s goal is to nurture talent from a budding age at the grassroots level to the international stage but it often proves difficult given the attention kickboxing and other combat sports receive from the government and the private sector.

The annual Chairman’s Cup Kickboxing Championship brought together eight teams in Nairobi on Saturday. Photo/Sports Africa

Being a sport like any other, kickboxing is a viable venture that can uplift the living standards of its participants only if enough resources are channelled into it, according to Takid Master.

Speaking during the 2022 Chairman’s Cup Kickboxing Championship held at the Pumwani Social Hall, Nairobi on Saturday, the martial arts and fitnesss coach highlighted thorny issues dragging the sport behind.

Takid pointed out lack of facilitation and funding in the sport as the main obstacles standing in the way of kickboxing growth and development nationwide.

He revealed that there was an earlier confrontation between the tourney’s organisers and area youth who claimed the ownership of the kickboxing ring, a push and pull that saw the event stopped for some minutes due to the standoff surrounding the venue’s ownership.

Takid Master (R) was one of the Championship’s judges. Photo/Sports Africa

“The challenges that we are encountering are all about facilitation. You see there is no enough equipment. Like for today something came up here. We had booked this place which belongs to the Nairobi City County government but cartels are everywhere,” he narrated.

“There were some youth who came to interrupt the match and the reason is that the ring ‘belongs to them’. The ring is owned by the NCC. So if we could manage to get a sponsor and at least support us acquire our own ring, that would be better. We will be able to hold tournaments in every region, every month to help our players reach the international level.”

Most sports federations in Kenya have been decrying lack of sufficient funding and inadequate facilitation from the national government, a reality that has always come back to haunt the entire sports sector in the country for ages.

Takid said kickboxing has the potential to blossom and thrive only if the setbacks in the sport are addressed.

Image/Sports Africa

“That’s why we have been urging the government to support all these sports. Not only football, rugby or athletics. All other sports so that we can also shine if we go for international assignments.”

The youthful grandfather also predicted that Kenya’s kickboxing will be on a higher level in the next five years to come; ” I can see kickboxing going international and we will be having more guys who will be turning into pros in the UFC and MMA.” He added.

Takid was accompanied by his wife Cecilia Moraa, a national heavyweight kickboxing champion in the women’s category and daughter Milcah Takid in the ladies junior category. However, they all failed go past the preliminary round in their respective categories of the competition owing to lack of proper training occasioned by the elongated effects of coronavirus, according to Takid.

The tournament also featured junior category for both male and female participants. Image/Sports Africa

“The level of competition is really amazing compared to other tournaments that we’ve been having. Like the one we had at Kahawa Garrison. It’s because all these players have been training hard to clinch the Chairman’s Cup title. For ladies, Cecil Moraa for team Takid has been the national heavyweight champion for a long time but today she only came to participate so that she could try a lower weight under 64 kilograms.”

Takid Master’s wife Cecilia Moraa and daughter Milcah Takid also fought at the Championship. Image/Sports Africa

Moraa, described as a lady with a lionesse’s heart by husband Takid lost via points to Ulinzi’s Phoebe Mwende in the first round of their encounter, giving the latter chance to advance to the next stage at the championship.

The Chairman’s Cup Kickboxing Championship is held annually in honour of the federation’s Chairman Iraki Kang’ethe.

The championship brought together eight teams; Hardcore, Takid’s, Naivasha, USIU, Ulinzi, Nakuru, One Tribe and Dragon.

A total 30 bouts were served on Saturday with winners in different categories appreciated.

Three top teams in all categories clinched the much coveted medals. Hardcore emerged the general winning team followed closely by Ulinzi and Dragon in that order.

Image/Sports Africa

Chairman’s Cup Kickboxing Championships Full Rankings

1- Hardcore
2- Ulinzi
3- Dragon
4- Nakuru
6- Takid
7- One Tribe
8- Naivasha

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