By Sandrine M.
Cameroon’s heavyweight champion in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Francis Ngannou has rekindled the hopes of young Cameroonians who aspire to be like him.
The heavyweight champion was speaking yesterday July 12 after being recognized at the 2021 Sports Humanitarian Awards in New York. The award celebrates and honour athletes, teams, leagues and members of sports industry for using sports to make a positive impact in the society.
The mixed martial artist was named among Marvel’s Earth’s Mightiest athletes for his extraordinary abilities in the cage, alongside United States Women’s National Team soccer star and two-time World Cup Champion Julie Ertz and the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell.
“I want to give some opportunity for children like me who dream of this sport and don’t have an opportunity like me. The last time I was in Cameroon, I brought a lot of materials for boxing and MMA to open a gym. Now I just bought a big space to start the gym, as well…” Francis Ngannou spoke shortly after the award.
He has opened a foundation named after him, The Francis Ngannou Foundation that currently runs the first MMA gym in Cameroon in his hometown of Batie in the West Region. The gym was opened in January 2019 and has since gone on to aid more than one hundred children.
The 34-year old Francis Ngannou, known for being the hardest recorded puncher in history, was honored because of the positive impact he has made out of his career.
Out of nothing, he became an outstanding international sports figure and the pride of a nation, a hope for many children due to hard work and perseverance.
Source Journal du Cameroun