Thursday, August 5, 2021

Boxing association seeks autonomy

Professional Boxing Association of Botswana (PBAB) awaits to hear if it will be granted autonomy.

In 2019, the association which controls professional boxing in the country wrote a letter to the Ministry of Sport requesting autonomy from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).

PBAB president Tsietsi ‘Shakes’ Kebualemang says the request is in line with how the sport is run in other countries.

Kebualemang says as a pro-boxing body, being under the subjugation of BNSC has a lot of disadvantages.

“PBAB seeks to be autonomous like pro boxing in other countries. The decision was taken after the association realized there were a lot of disadvantages from the affiliation to BNSC,” Kebuwalemang explains.

Among the main disadvantages are the current statutes governing sports and funding in the country.

The current statutes are said to be stifling to PBAB members who wish to take sport to higher heights.

Kebualemang says one such inconvenience comes when a boxing promoter seeks to host a fight, as they have to seek authority from the BNSC. 

The PBAB president says if they are granted autonomy, they would register as a commission under the Act of parliament where the minister is in charge of appointing seven board members. 

Under such an arrangement, the PBAB board will employ a fully-fledged secretariat with a chief executive officer (CEO) to run its day-to-day operations.

The arrangement will also ensure the commission gets direct funding from government just like in other countries. 

Kebualemang states that the proposed professional boxing Act is available and was long drafted years back (2003) when pro-boxing was administered by the then local controlling body.

“The commission would be made up of skilled and qualified professional boxing personnel who have gone through pro-boxing courses. The vital critical instrument above all is the strategic plan,” he said.

An autonomous association will be in a position that defines the direction the athletes should go. 

Instead of boxers getting exploited, there will be a way to retain players as a body. Therefore, the boxers will be direct beneficiaries thus the government also relieved of employment creation.

According to the president the association plans to approach MYSC, Ministry of Trade and Investment and Ministry of Tourism and the private sectors to collaborate on structures that will commercialise pro-boxing 

For his part, PBAB public relations officer Kenny Maragana said, local boxing players are a powerhouse in the country and continent. 

If PBAB can have sponsors coming on board to partner with local promoters, the association will gain a lot of high-performance boxers who will excel in pro boxing.

Sponsorship from business orientated companies will help drive pro-boxing to the economics of sports.”

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