The relationship between Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) and Debswana continues to grow by leaps and bounds, as the mining giant recently announced that it will once again bankroll this year’s boxing awards.
The sponsorship is on its fourth year running, and Debswana will fork out a staggering P176 000 towards this year’s awards, which are known as the Debswana Boxing Awards. This year’s sponsorship went up buy P16 000 from last year’s P160 000.
Debswana started sponsoring the boxing awards four years ago with an initial P50 000. Over the years the sponsorship amount has grown to the current P176 000 which is testimony to strengthening relations between BoBA and Debswana. Speaking during the sponsorship launch at the President Hotel during the week, Debswana’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Esther Kanaimba-Senai, said their motivation to continue sponsoring the event is to see the boxing awards growing bigger and better each year in order to motivate deserving individuals.
“These awards motivate both male and female boxers to improve their boxing skills in order to qualify, ensuring that BoBA boxers are competitive even outside Botswana,” she said.
She added that it is every athlete and official’s dream to see themselves recognized and appreciated for a job well done. She said since the awards were introduced there has been increased interest in boxing among the youth, who want to emulate boxing stars such as Oteng Oteng and Kabelo Bagwasi.
“It is also gratifying to note that BoBA results in zonal, continental and world competitions have significantly improved,” said Kanaimba-Senai.
When welcoming guests, BoBA Vice President Technical, Tabona Phaladzi, attributed the good performance of local boxers in the international arena to continued support from Debswana. He gave an example of the recent sensational performance of the country’s youthful boxers, who won two gold medals and three bronze medals at the 2nd Africa Youth Games, as a direct result of Debswana support.
“We managed to unleash this young talent due to great support from Debswana over the years,” he said.
He also revealed that this year’s awards will also recognize and include women, especially since they have started to compete effectively in major events. Giving the vote of thanks, Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) board member, Lt Colonel Botsang Tshenyego, said Debswana’s sponsorship to the development of boxing is holistic as it cuts across grassroots to elite performance stages.
“Debswana has a legitimate claim to the success of boxing and Botswana sport in general,” he said.
The Debswana Boxing Awards will be held on June 28th to honor and recognize athletes who performed tremendously in the past year.