Lady of the Ring, Kickboxer Patricia Apolot faults it on President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his Government for little, if any, or even non-support to local sport and the different athletes.
For her excellent performance, and others too, Apolot, Queen of Africa and Uganda’s number one lady of the ring is supposed to be on the list of athletes that President Museveni Government should be paying monthly stipend as pledged.
Apolot is on the familiar terms with the cast that her colleagues in the sport are receiving their promised pay. Her case though is that she is herself yet to receive a penny from Government coffers as regards monthly salaries as was promised by President Museveni’s Government a couple of years ago.
The President in 2013 promised that every excellent performing athlete be receiving monthly monies as motivation and gratuity for making the country proud at international sporting events.
Apolot decisively features in the same directory as those excellent talents to receive this monetary prerogative though she has not received a penny as her colleague in sports have.
Playing for passion:
Nonetheless, Apolot says kickboxing in particular and sport in general is her calling.
With or without Government support, the kickboxer says ‘where there is a WILL there is a WAY’ so she will not descend from the ring every time there is a willing challenger locally or internationally.
“Sports and Kickboxing in specific is part and partial of my life. I have been, and willingly, doing this since I was ten without support from Government. I won’t look back.” Apolot tells The investigator sport before adding, “Problem is when people want to reap where they never sow”
Working on least budget:
As an athlete, Apolot’s budget is big. What is her bizarre issue is that she is working on an undersized budget in the sport that requires so much to prepare for any given contest.
To prepare well for a contest, she needs two to three months to the fight date. The period, the training staff, the diet and gym costs put together would transform into millions of shillings which she doesn’t have at her disposal.
The call for Government support or any willing organization for finances is worthwhile; for Apolot is a sporting brand which doesn’t and won’t disappoint.
One of a few:
Undoubtedly, Apolot is one of the few girls in Uganda who have taken up individual sport and more so kickboxing and boxing if you may add, painstakingly.
Physical and engaging as kickboxing is, Apolot took up the task to lay bear her body, face and hands and legs to fight, be punched and kicked in the ring round after another.
And when she wins, it’s the country’s pride not hers.
Apolot does not demand government anything but she is only reminding them of their obligations of supporting not only talent but excellent performance.
Apolot is thus a talent that has performed excellently and worthy supporting and motivating in one way or another.
She is an African champion in her women’s weight category and she is not about to lose grip on the championship internationally.
Locally Apolot stands firmly in number one position and none would dare her if she invited challengers in Uganda.
The female Ugandan professional martial artist is the reigning Ugandan female kickboxing champion and also holds the World Kickboxing Federation International title, obtained in June 2015, by defeating Ivana Mirkov of Serbia, in Dunaujvaros, Hungary.
After trying several vocational endeavors, including football, she settled on boxing in 2010. That changed to kickboxing in 2013. In 2014, she became a professional kickboxer.
In July 2014, she successfully defended her national kickboxing title by defeating Jackie Nassimbwa.
On 27 June 2015, in Dunaujvaros, Hungary, Patricia Apolot defeated Ivana Mirkov of Serbia, in a World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) female Lightweight title fight.
At the time of her defeat, Ivana was ranked number 16 in the world by the WKBF.
In November 2015, Apolot successfully defended her title by defeating then reigning Hungarian champion Anita Nagy, also in Dunaujvaros, via a technical knock-out.
Awards and recognition;
Apolot is a Gold Medalist – Mt. Gorilla Taekwondo Open. She also won Gold in 2013 at the East Africa Inter-Club Boxing Championships.
In 2014 at National Kickboxing Champion Apolot won the Female Lightweight Division title and also hold the World Kickboxing Federation International Title (Female Lightweight Division).
Who is aiding Apolot
As she waits on government to come good on the salary promise, Apolot is grateful for her unwavering support from her part time sponsors Hima cement, Red Bull and her manager.
Nonetheless, she says this is a mere drop in the whole large ocean given she has to train harder than usual and keep fit all the time.
Next on her fight carte du jour was going to be this month in New Delhi until her opponent semirat Devi chickened opted out of the game for fear of the Ugandan black pearl. Fight was scheduled for 24th in new Delhi.
Apolot is such a philanthropic athlete. As she continues to engage in sport, her prayer and wish is that government one day considers aiding not only her, or kickboxing but the entire sports industry in the country.
Sports as an industry is a source of income to the athletes, a social and economic vehicle employing and empowering millions of would be unemployed youths with such a trickledown effect magic.
Countries like UK, Jamaica, Australia and south Africa, the list is long have professionalized sports with many of their citizens living on the industry.
Statistically in Uganda, ten million people plus actively involved as athletes themselves, their relatives, and training staff as coaches, support staff among others live by the sports industry.
It’s therefore imperative that Government of Uganda considers improving the sports budget as support to motivate and financially empower the many Apolot’s in the sport.