Keith Walker, from New Zealand, is the Honorary Vice President of Oceania Boxing Confederation.
He has been appointed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) as Technical Delegate to Van2017 Pacific Mini Games, whose job it is to ensure the technical side of the sport is run according to international rules.
“My role as Technical Delegate is to check the sites, the actual venue and to make contact with all of the volunteers and key people who will be in key positions for boxing at the Games,” he said.
“Also I did a training day for all of them, as well as individual training for specific roles and what those specific roles entail. Some of these people have been to some boxing events, so it was ideal for them to learn and I was encouraged that, even though they have never been to a boxing tournament, they were very attentive and willing to learn.”
“I visited the Korman stadium and we are very thankful and privileged to have such competition venue; it absolutely suits our type of competitions and meets all our needs,” said Walker.
“Having the smaller stadium, we are very thrilled to have that venue to ourselves, and we can now run the event in a professional manner so that the public will see a great event. I believe that boxing will bring a lot of excitement to the Games.
“As boxing has been a very popular sport in Vanuatu, my recommendation is for VABA to take up the challenge and take the opportunity now to progress the sport, because there are boxing events that are taking place and I am sure that people who will go to the event will want their sons and daughters or grandchildren to take up the sport.
“The opportunity is here for them. And I would like to see Vanuatu people involved in the competitions, for Vanuatu to become one of the strong boxing nations in the Pacific.”
Walker said boxing is a very good sport for young people, because it is a controlled sport.
“Boxing builds a boxer’s self-esteem; it gives a fitness regime that they have to be faithful to; it is an individual sport and the achievement is self-gratification, they do not rely on other people to achieve.
“It builds character, confidence, self-esteem - those are attributes that are important in life. It takes away violence, they become in control of their environment and build respect between themself and their opponent.”
Walker said the local organizing committee, boxing committee and people who are involved in the sport have set a platform for a great event and it is going to be remembered, not only by the people who will be participating, but also by those who have the chance to be spectators.
This was his fourth visit to Vanuatu, as he was in the capital for two Oceania Boxing Championships, and as Jury Member for the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu in 1993.
Walker will be in Vanuatu in December at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games as the International Supervisor.