When names of participants at the on-going 12th edition of IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship hosted in Istanbul, Turkey were called, Botswana’s Keamogetse ‘Sadie’ Kenosi and Lethabo Modukanele were not among them.
Financial struggles by the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) had put paid to their highly anticipated participation at the global piece-de-resistance tournament which ends on the 20th of May.
The absence of the two local female pugilists, who are earmarked to be part of Team Botswana at the upcoming 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, means they now miss out on an opportunity to qualify for the games outright.
According to sources, close to P200 000.00 was needed to send the duo to the championships but BoBA struggled raising that amount.
BoBA Secretary General Taolo Tlouetsile confirmed the team missed out on taking part in the IBA championships due to lack of finances.
“After zone 4 games, the team was to report for camp which would have been two weeks long for the ladies, ushering them to go to the women championships. Due to lack of monies however, both the camp and the IBA women championships failed to come to reality,” he said.
Tlouetsile stated that the championships were to be part of preparations for the Commonwealth Games. He said if they are expected to bring a medal or even perform better, that should be reflected by preparations.
As it is now, he said the local boxing authority cannot properly gauge how prepared they are for the Commonwealth Games. Despite the setback, he said they remain hopeful of representing the country well at the Commonwealth Games.
“I believe we will make our way to the commonwealth one way or the other despite financial challenges we find ourselves in. This tournament was to be sponsored by Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), we cannot answer on their behalf. However, it has affected us because it is one of the highest competitions in the boxing calendar. Because we missed this, we are now going to be forced to play championships and tournaments organised by other countries,” he explained.
Addressing the issue, BNOC Business development and strategy manager Baboni Khupe, stated that they could not assist BoBA due to the fact that their request to finance the team to participate at the women championships came at a time in which they are still waiting to receive funds.
“BoBA made a request for assistance to the BNOC but unfortunately, at the time of their submission the BNOC had not yet received funding for Birmingham 2022 from which the championships could have been funded from,” said Khupe.
Khupe also said they have not abandoned BoBA as they recently assisted them financially to compete in the just ended Zonal competitions which were held in Mozambique. “The BNOC recently received about P1.5 m for preparations for the month of May and BOBA is one of the NFs that will be supported as per their plan,” she said.