Friday, June 21, 2024

Botswana boxing awakes from slumber

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBa) is optimistic that the sport will rise from its long slumber to once again be counted among the best performing sporting codes in Botswana.

This optimism was shared by BoBA secretary general Taolo Tlouetsile following the team’s sterling performance at the just ended 2022 African Boxing Confederation Championships.  The team brought six medals from the championships which were hosted in Maputo, Mozambique this past week.

At least twenty-seven (27) countries registered and participated in the tournament. 211 boxers, including 64 women and 147 men competed at the games which took place from 12 to 17 September. 

Botswana’s six medals haul from the games include a gold from Keamogetswe Kenosi, two silver medals by George Molwantwa and Aratwa Kasemang, as well as three silver medals courtesy of Kobamelo Molatlhegi, Lethabo Modukanele and Phekie Bele.

“The weekend performance in Maputo shows that local boxing is alive and back. It gives us confidence as the association that we have to work harder to maintain and eventually improve our performance,” an elated Tlouetsile said.

He went on to add that the brilliant performance by the local pugilists vindicates the quality of local competitions. The BoBA secretary general said only competitive local competitions can produce national athletes capable of bringing glory to the country.

“Despite the challenges we have as a code we continue to do well and BoBA national competitions are staged as planned. We will continue to harness talent and produce national athletes,” he said. 

With the winning athletes expected to be handsomely rewarded for their efforts, Tlouetsile noted that the prize monies will help and improve the athletes’ livelihoods and encourage them to do better. He said the prize money will work as catalyst to boxers to commit and strive for excellence.

From BoBA’s standpoint, he said the performance of the athletes justifies Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC)’s decision to put them in the top tier codes for funding. 

“The achievements so far will help and justify why we are in tier 1 and it will also help to justify for more funding,” he said.  According to him BoBa has had a good year so far as its athletes continue to bring home silverware from international competitions. Boxing brought home a bronze medal from the recent Commonwealth Games courtesy of Modukanele. It was boxing’s first medal from the games since the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games when the code brought home two medals.


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