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Makba sets guidelines for sponsorship

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By Tiyese Monjeza

Malawi Kickboxing Association (Makba) has set guidelines for sponsors with the aim of ensuring an increase in prize money.

A press release that Makba issued on Tuesday stated that supporting bouts will be pegged at between K200,000 and K500,000, with prize money for non-title bouts ranging from K70,000 to K500,000.

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The development comes after kickboxers who participated in a national kickboxing championship at Chinamwali in Zomba on November 5 cried foul over K20,000 prize money for champions and K15,000 for runners-up.

The fighters complained that they incur heavy costs in training and medication after fights, hence the need to revise prize money.

Makba General Secretary Bright Limani said the guidelines are aimed at helping the kickboxers become financially stable.

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Limani said they developed the guidelines after the kickboxers’ complaints, validated by the rising cost of living.

“We want to make the sport competitive and woo more athletes to join. We have seen boxers receiving K500,000 as prize money for winning bouts. This is the kind of motivation that our game needs. With improved prize money. Kickboxing can become very competitive and our fighters could be earning a living through this sport,” he said.

Limani further called on sponsors to contact the association before organising fights.

“The ultimate goal is that we want all sponsors to comply with our guidelines. We are still making some progress in engaging other stakeholders who can help in promoting the sport.

“We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Soya Gold, a company that is helping us in organising fights. Our prayer is that more stakeholders will come forward to team up with us,” he said.

Limani said the new guidelines will not be in use during the national women championship slated for next month.

“We would have loved to see the new guidelines applying to the women’s championship but we had already budgeted and sourced funds for this contest. So we will proceed as planned,” he said.

Blantyre-based kickboxer Jimmy Katsoka welcomed the initiative, saying it will motivate them to work hard.

“Our appeal, as athletes, is that Makba should also consider training judges so that there is sanity in the game. Hiking prize money will bring real competition to the game and it would be healthy if such fights, where sponsors will invest a lot, should be producing real winners. There should be no room for questionable judgements from our judges,” Katsoka said.

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