AIBA’s HeadsUp programme took centre stage between Friday’s sessions at the 2016 Youth World Championships when, under its mission to promote the grassroots of boxing, President Ching-Kuo Wu and tournament supplier Wesing made a donation to the Kolpinskaya Perchatka boxing gymnasium, based in Saint Petersburg’s Kolpino region. The boxing gym works principally with boys and girls from low-income families, a group of whom came along to the morning session on Day Two of the Championships.
Both of the current head coaches began their boxing journeys at Kolpinskaya Perchatka, and now dedicate themselves to the 100 students aged 12-18 hoping to break into the world elite. Women’s Youth World Champion Agnessa Mitko trained at the boxing gym, while many more graduates have gone on to the Olympic College of Saint Petersburg and won major tournaments.
“When we conceived the HeadsUp initiative, it was gyms like this that we had in mind, where youths are able to come and discover boxing, develop into athletes and even go on to win national and international titles,” said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “Such facilities contribute enormously not just to boxing but to society as a whole, and it is important that AIBA shows its support to the people working so hard to nourish our sport. The enthusiasm we have seen here is so encouraging because these young people are the future of boxing.”
Saint Petersburg’s Sibur Arena is hosting the AIBA Youth World Championships from 17-26 November, one year after the Junior World Championships took place in the same city, underscoring the Saint Petersburg Sports Boxing Federation’s own valuable commitment to the grassroots of boxing.