The Mohamed Ali Sports Centre in Molenbeek opened at midday on Saturday. The former Heyvaert Hall will finally get its new name after a two year wait. The name change was announced back in 2016 but couldn’t happen until the legendary boxer’s foundation approved the new name.
The name Mohamed Ali is protected and the commune had to submit an official request to the foundation. The request was eventually approved by the Mohamed Ali Center.
Molenbeek decided to change the name as it wants to “inspire young people to learn respect, hope and understanding and always aim higher in life” through Mohamed Ali’s ideas.
“Mohamed Ali came from a minority background and had to face many difficulties along the way, but he succeeded”, says Molenbeek Sports councillor Ahmed El Khannous. “Ali was an example for all young people when it comes to perseverance and working towards your goals”.