IBA hails refereeing and judging training course held at Mandela Boxing Cup. IBA

As well as the action inside the ring, last month's Mandela Boxing Cup in South Africa also played host to an International Boxing Association (IBA) 1-3 Star Refereeing and Judging (R&J) course which brought together 24 officials from 12 countries representing three continents.

The referees and judges received comprehensive training to improve their skills and share knowledge. The aim is to achieve an increasing level of professionalism in one of the cornerstones of the sport.

Most of the participants in Durban were from African countries such as Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The course, conducted in three official IBA languages, aimed to provide comprehensive training for R&Js in the African region and was led by a senior cohort of IBA R&J instructors and evaluators.

The course is part of IBA's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme and took place alongside the Mandela Boxing Cup. Sadie Duffy, Chair of the IBA Referees and Judges Committee, said,  "The competition exceeded expectations with its excellent venue, organisation, and outstanding performances from all the boxers. Moreover, it served as a crucial platform for African Boxing Confederation (AFBC) IBA Referees and Judges to further develop their skills in our sport.

"I was encouraged by the high standard displayed and the incredible interest shown by all the candidates in advancing their abilities. As the IBA R&J Committee Chair, I am delighted to witness the increasing number of women R&Js from various National Federations. We eagerly anticipate the continuation of our collaboration and development with the AFBC."

The Mandela Cup was held in Durban, South Africa, in April. GETTY IMAGES
The Mandela Cup was held in Durban, South Africa, in April. GETTY IMAGES

One of the R&J course participants from Gabon thanked the IBA team, saying, "The instructors have provided us with extensive knowledge that we can use not only for ourselves, but also for our colleagues at the national level who share the same passion for refereeing and judging."

The IBA claims its CPD Programme and 1-3 Star R&J Course "highlights the organisation's dedication to fostering growth and excellence in boxing across the region."