Five West African countries are set to battle for supremacy in the ring when the first ever ECOWAS International Kickboxing Friendship (EIKF) tournament rocks the Lizzy Sports Complex in Accra this weekend.
Hosts Ghana will face athletes from neighbours, Ivory Coast, Togo, Nigeria and Cameroon in the event billed to also attract participation of kickboxers from some European countries including Turkey who organizers are still waiting on for confirmation though.
The tournament, a first of its kind is has been approved by 11 member associations of the ECOWAS Kickboxing Federation Zone 2 who are jointly organizing the competition with the Ghana Kickboxing Federation.
‘This is our first event and we need the support of everybody to help and push our athletes in Africa. It’s an event that shall bring together an explosive exuberance of youthful vitality, men and women to make this event the brand name for West African countries,’ said President of WAKO African Kickboxing Confederation Zone 2, Parfait Doukrou at the launch of the tournament on Friday.
In the event, athletes are expected to arrive at the Lizzy Sports Complex in the Ghanaian capital on Friday June 24 ahead of the competition which bells off on Saturday morning mainly for amateurs but with one professional championship in support with the main events expected to start in the evening.
According to Yoofi Boham, Vice President of the Ghana Kickboxing Association, the tournament is a welcome boost to their quest to promote and develop the sport in this country and to also erase the notion that it is a perilous sport.
‘We are trying to do away with that perception that kickboxing is a dangerous and lesser known sport and bring it into the limelight to gain its rightful place in Ghanaian sports,’ Mr. Boham explained.
‘Kickboxing is the best sport because aside fighting, it can open doors to jobs like training people for self defence and other uses, keeps you fit, smart, avoid stress and instill discipline. It’s a sport we can all learn and get involved in,’ the GKA Vice President added.
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