A year on from the disruptive emergence of Covid-19 pandemic in Botswana’s shores and the State of Emergency (SOE) that followed, sport is now back.
This past weekend, Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) hosted its first tournament post the SoE.
And if the attendance of the tournament is anything to go by, it is safe to say boxing has been eagerly waiting. Even the stringent and often suffocating Covid-19 protocols did not dampen the spirit of attendees and competitors alike.
BoBA public relations officer (PRO), Moitshepi Nkabiti, has said the turn up was exceptional as 11 out of the association’s 24 affiliated clubs managed to honour the invitation and participate on the tournament.
“We did not expect much when getting into the tournament but everything went well. Even with the covid protocols we had a SHE officer who did the job exceptionally well. Every two hours we took a break for 15minutes until we ended the tournament,” Nkabiti said.
However, before hosting the tournament a request was made to all affiliates to send their team list to ensure proper planning which however did not go as planned.
“For the first time all clubs were requested to send their team list for participation to avoid overcrowding. And if we continue with this culture, we will surely be more organized going forward,” he added.
On another note, the association decided not to have spectators at this event even though Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) recently opened up to having spectators at sport events.
“We agreed as the BoBA committee to have spectators on our next tournament even though BNSC has opened for us to have them at games,” he explained.
In addition, Nkabiti highlighted that the 13 clubs that did not participate in the interclub tournament reasoned that they still needed more time to catch up with their level of fitness.
“Lack of resources by clubs was the leading problem which resulted in them not showing up. All clubs are self-sponsored so travel expenses sometimes become A setback for all to attend as expected like all the Eastern and North west clubs did not attend as compared to those nearer to the event who participated,” he stated.
Of the eleven (11) clubs which competed in the tournament, only three (3), being Eastern Military Garrison (Selebi Phikwe), Francistown boxing club and Ruling Jab (Palapye) were not from the Greater Gaborone area.
In addition, he said clubs which are from Organisations do better in participation than those of community clubs.
“This tournament has taught us a lot and we hope to do much better going forward including having how to monitor spectators during our games,” he concluded.