The issue of preparation and progress for hosting this year’s Best of the Best tournament is expected to be at the top of the agenda when the Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) Executive Committee meets today (Sunday).
The tournament, which was expected to be hosted this coming weekend, has now been postponed indefinitely as BOBA is still negotiating with a potential sponsor for the event.
Speaking in an interview, BOBA’s Publicity and Information Secretary, Willoughby Kemoen, said the tournament, which is regarded as one of the best in the local BOBA calendar, will be hosted once a sponsorship deal has been agreed with the potential sponsor.
“We have been in talks with one potential sponsor and he has promised to come back to us as our proposal is still being assessed,” Kemoen said. According to Kemoen, while the association is keen to host the tournament as soon as possible, it is not under any pressure to host it without any sponsors on board.
“This is one of our premiere events and our intention is to see that our boxers get something from it. We are willing to wait for as long as possible while awaiting sponsors to come on board,” he added.
Kemoen admitted that the association, just like other sporting codes in the country, is finding it hard to attract sponsors to finance its activities. He says one of the reasons why sponsors are hard to come by is the current economic uncertainty.
“The economic recession has made companies to shift their priorities and as such sport has been one of the casualties. Another reason is the lack of understanding by companies on what mileage they can get from sponsoring sporting events. Time and again when a potential sponsor is approached, the question they ask is what will they get from sponsoring events,” the BOBA spokesperson said. Apart from the Best of the Best tournament, Kemoen says the BOBA executive will be discussing issues relating to the national team preparations for the Africa Olympic qualifiers as well as the Olympics. He says while the national team has been on camp for a while now, the association is finding it hard to organise friendly games for the national team as countries are busy preparing for the Olympics. He says while they had organised friendly matches with Namibia and South Africa, BOBA has encountered a glitch as both countries have pulled out of the scheduled friendly games.
Botswana could have played against Namibia yesterday (Saturday) and South Africa on the 23rd of March.
The BOBA spokesperson is, however, adamant that the association will be doing all it can to organise other friendly games for the team to ensure that the team has enough preparations ahead of the Africa Olympic qualifiers. He says they are currently in talks with Cuba and France via their embassies in an attempt to get the team much needed friendly matches.
“We will also be looking at negotiating with other countries beside the two to see if we can organise friendly matches for our boxers,” Kemoen concluded.