After Covid-19 pandemic induced interruptions, Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) is now rallying back.
On the 16th of this month, BoBA sent the Botswana boxing national team to Belgrade, Serbia to compete at the 58th Belgrade Winner elite men and women tournament.
The week-long tournament, which has attracted boxers from all over the world, will be held from the 22nd to the 28th of this month at the Pinki Cultural and Sports Centre.
Speaking to The Telegraph Sports, BoBA public relations officer (PRO) Taolo Tloetsile said they have sent three (3) boxers to the tournament.
The three are Rajab Otukile Mahommed, George Molwantwa and Keamogetse Kenosi. For Mahommed and Kenosi, the tournament is part of their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We are left with just three months before the Olympics begin and we hope this tournament will help us gauge the fitness of our athletes,” Tlouetsile explained.
He said while there has been a lot of interruptions in the team’s preparations for the Olympics, BoBA has tried as much as possible to keep the athletes in good condition.
“All we have been doing during this interrupted season is training our athletes to keep them fit and their morale high.”
“Now we believe this is the beginning of the process to condition the team back to competition mode, both physically and mentally,” said Tlouetsile.
Of little concern however for BoBA will be the absence of the team’s coach Lechedzani Master Luza. The coach has allegedly been left behind as ‘he was yet to be released by his employer.’
“We are hopeful that he will be released on time to join the team. If not, assistant coach Choga Ntoti will be in charge and Luza will join the team in camp when it returns from the tournament,” he said.
As with everything in the current Covid-19 situation, Tlouetsile said they encounters many challenges when preparing to take the team to the tournament.
One such was the solicitation of visas for the whole BoBA delegation, which had since forced the team to travel in batches.
Among those affected by the VISA challenges are team psychologist Kagiso Tlhabano, team medical officer Dr Maswabi and manager Gilbert Khunwane. Like Luza, the trio is expected to join the team in Serbia at a later time.
Meanwhile, Tlouetsile said they are hopeful they will have uninterrupted preparations for the Olympics once the team returns from Serbia.