Boxing has a ‘hook’ in Galicia and doubles the number of federates after the pandemic

Galicia climbs the ring. With a support program for the boxing base, a system of economic aid to clubs and a commitment to the professionali

Galicia climbs the ring. With a support program for the boxing base, a system of economic aid to clubs and a commitment to the professionalization of sport, Galicia dominates the federative licenses in boxing. With more than 4,000 federates, the community has doubled its licenses after the pandemic and the number of amateur practitioners amounts to 12,000 athletes.

In 2019, in Galicia there were 2,000 boxing licenses and during the months after confinement the federation bordered on the red numbers. However, the Galician Government ruled in November 2020 that federated athletes could train without restrictions, compete and play sports outdoors. They were months in which the majority of Spain lived between restrictions and curfews: the boom of new federates was immediate.

The Galician Federation has increased its income by more than 400% compared to 12 years agowhen the president Manolo Planas took the lead, going from having a budget of 6,000 euros per year in 2010 to having more than 400,000 euros by 2022. The budget of the Galician Boxing Federation is also more than 300,000 euros with the that the Spanish Boxing Federation had in 2020.

Once the restrictions have been eased, Galician boxing has not lost steam. “I thought that once the confinements were over, all the progress we had made would be lost, but it has been maintained and has even increased a little more,” Planas told Palco23.

During the pandemic, in addition, the Federation distributed sports equipment, medical supplies, paid 100% of the competitions and the travel of the athletes and organized subsidized championships. “People have to see that behind a license there is someone betting on the athlete,” says Planas.

“Many people come to gyms with anxiety problems, and almost all of them with recommendations from doctors,” says Planas. “There are people who tell me that the hour they spend beating a bag helps them not have to take medication to withstand reality,” confirms the president.

The Galician federation has some own income of 140,000 euros per year, compared to the 3,000 it obtained just over a decade ago. In addition, he obtains financing from agreements with the administration: the Xunta de Galicia pays 193,000 euros to generate jobs in boxing and the FGB It has also closed a deal with the Ministry of Equality for labor conciliation, offering free boxing classes from June to August to the children of parents who work during the summer. The federation also obtains around 60,000 euros a year from councils and town councils.

Although the number of federates has doubled in the community, the percentage of children under 16 has fallen. In 2019, the boxing base covered 70% of the federative licenses and in 2022 that percentage has dropped to 40%.

The federation also supports the base of sport through agreements with schools and special programs with families. In addition, it organizes a children’s league that has had to be suspended due to Covid-19 and that it plans to resume. “It is important for children to be motivated to compete, to turn sport into a social activity that increases the base of practitioners,” says Planas.

The great unfinished business of boxing is television presence. Despite the fact that it has a large following on social networks, it has few agreements on large networks and platforms, with just a few broadcasts on Dazn and Gol Tv. “If you want people to see you, you have to put on a great show, and Spanish boxing lacks a competition that bets on this sport as a business,” Planas laments.

Galician clubs continue to work with the same methods used before the pandemic. With a budget of 20,000 euros per year and 170 members, Team Thunder, one of the largest in the community, concentrates most of its resources on working on the foundation of boxing. With more than 80 children with sports licenses, the base accounts for almost 50% of the club’s media.

“Any person who enters our club must have a federation license,” Aaron González, president of the Team Thunder center in Marín (Pontevedra), told Palco23. “Thanks to the Xunta we have programs with schools and we are a potential extracurricular for many children, because we know that a child who is passionate about boxing will never stop loving this sport,” says González.