Local boxing club an inspiration to all

The RDP Centre in Zwelihle erupted into jubilant celebrations on Saturday afternoon, when the EMS Foundation handed over a substantial donation to the Overstrand Whale Boxing Club.

The heart-warming handover ceremony, hosted by William Ntebe and Fikiswa Gxamesi of the Zwelihle Youth Café, kicked off when an overjoyed Coach Mzi Damesi and his more than 40 young boxing stars entered the premises, singing and dancing, to loud applause from the many well-wishers who had gathered to celebrate this milestone with them.

The Overstrand Whale Boxing Club (OWBC) was founded by Mzi in 2007 and was registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in 2011. Despite having limited resources and only the most basic facilities and equipment, Mzi’s dedication and his young boxers’ hard work and determination has led to the club achieving phenomenal success, not only regionally but also nationally. He is extremely proud of the fact that among his boxers are no less than six South African champions – all from Zwelihle.

“This donation means the world to Mzi,” said local resident, Carole Dods, who has been supporting the club for many years. “They now have new branded jackets and will be able to purchase the equipment they sorely need. It also means that for the next year, they will be able to cover their travelling expenses when attending tournaments and championships.” This has been one of the club’s greatest challenges in the past, when Mzi and the youngsters were often reduced to hitch-hiking to get to events.

Michele Pickover of the EMS Foundation said she only met Mzi a few weeks ago at the Hermanus Country Market and was so impressed by the invaluable difference he is making in his community that she simply had to support him. “Mzi Damesi is a keystone individual, so to a large extent the success of this club depends on his energy and vision. We are supporting the OWBC because it is changing these children’s lives by making them feel valuable, special, unique and loved. It is also providing purpose, supervision and a caring environment.”

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Michele Pickover of the EMS Foundation said it was a privilege for her to share “in these kind of special moments”.

In her emotional address, Michele said: “It’s always such a privilege for the EMS Foundation to share these kind of special moments. As a foundation we want to build a caring, gentler and more compassionate and altruistic world. Mzi, Carole, members of the OWBC – know that we believe in everything you are doing. Know that you do not walk alone in your vision for these children and this club. What you have created here must be encouraged, defended, harnessed, nurtured and expanded… and we really hope to be of some assistance on your awe-inspiring journey.”

Michele concluded by saying that the EMS Foundation hopes that by highlighting the achievements of this inspirational club, despite their extremely challenging circumstances, that other organisations and individuals – and in particular the Hermanus community – will stand up and be counted and support these amazing children and their phenomenal mentors.

This article was first published at https://thevillagenews.co.za/local-boxing-club-an-inspiration-to-all/

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