Friday, March 23, 2012

AIBA boxing: AIBA Academies: Revolution in Grassroots Development


Artist impression of the Almaty Academy

The International Boxing Association, the governing body of the sport of boxing, is fully committed to developing a massive grassroots foundation to sustain a continuous production of high-level boxers and enhance the global image and reputation of the sport.

The most exciting aspect of this project will be the roles played by the AIBA Academies, with plans for a total of six based around the world. AIBA National Federation boxers and coaches will use these Academies, which will give them access to state of the art training facilities as well as to the top coaches. The main Academy is currently being built near Almaty, Kazakhstan, and will usher in a new dawn for boxing; a real revolution is now under way.

"These are really exciting times for the future of boxing. We are doing the right thing for our young generation to compete in boxing with some long and bright hopes and dreams", stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President.

The Kazakhstan Boxing Federation has been entrusted with the build of the first Academy and with the country already recognised as one of the centres for the world's greatest architectural building projects, that includes the Pyramid of Peace and the Central Concert Hall, there is complete faith from AIBA that the delivery of this project will exceed expectations.

The Academy will be a specialised centre of excellence for National Federations that are affiliated to AIBA. The aim will be to provide the most modern training facilities and programs, not only for the development of athletes but also for a wide range of experts, coaches, judges, doctors, sports managers and administrators. This sports complex will be one of the main foundations for the further development and promotion of boxing. Classrooms as well as state-of-the-art gyms and boxing halls, equipped and staffed with the most modern equipment, will be key to future champions.

Kazakhstan was keen to take in this ground-breaking project, as Bekzhan Bektenov, Head of Staff at the KBF, stressed "These Academies will provide an impetus for further development not only of boxing worldwide, but also of boxing in Kazakhstan. We have many outstanding athletes but this initiative will create a much better system to expand and accelerate the production of top talent".

It was in February 2011 that the agreement between AIBA and the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation was signed, with the plans unveiled in August to the AIBA Executive Committee, following the hugely successful AIBA World Junior Boxing Championships that were held in Astana.

The Academy will have as backdrop the picturesque foothills of the Alatau, and will be situated right on the edge of the protected ecological green zone. A perfect location for those essential morning jogs.

The construction began in October 2011, with the scheduled completion date in May 2013. The grand opening will then take place in September 2013, before the AIBA World Boxing Championships are held in Astana.

The architectural ensemble of the International Boxing Academy includes a sport complex for trainings and competitions equipped with 2 Olympic and 8 training rings, a 25-meter swimming pool, an administrative building, a hotel with 168 beds, a restaurant that caters for 104 at a time, a cafe, a dining room with 180 seats, a football field with a running track, and an underground parking designed with 21 available spaces. The Academy will cover an area of 20000m2. It will be the perfect setting to make the best talent on earth fulfil their potential and become World Champions.

"We have reached 10% of completion which means we are right on schedule. We are extremely excited about this venture and cannot wait for the grand opening, this is a new era for boxing", concluded Bekzhan Bektenov.

Copyright © 2012 AIBA

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