Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) national teams are in camp ahead of the Zone IV Boxing championships and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Zone IV championships are scheduled for Mozambique from the 20th to the 25th of next month (February) while the Commonwealth Games are billed for Gold Coast, Australia, from the 4th to the 15th of April this year.
BoBA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Taolo Tlouetsile said the association has assembled two teams for the games. Both teams are made of at least four boxers each.
Mahommed Rajab 52kg ,Tefo Maitewa 56kg ,Keamogetse Kenosi 57kg and Aratwa Kesemang 60kg make the commonwealth team while the team that will participate at the zone iv championships is made up of Mmoloki Thipe 50kg , Mmusi Tswiige 69kg , Beauty Phori 48kg and Lethabo Modukanele 51kg.
According to the BoBA PRO, the commonwealth bound team, which has been in camp since the 8th of January will leave for New Delhi, India sometime this month to compete at the India Open Championships as part of their preparations.
On the other hand, the Zone IV Championships team will leave for Mozambique on the 19th of February with the sole intention of impressing the national team selectors and perhaps stepping into the Commonwealth Games team should such opportunity arise.
While a provisional team has already been selected, information reaching this publication is that the final boxing national team for the Commonwealth Games will only be finalized after the return of the Zone IV team.
Commenting on the two competitions, Tlouetsile said both the Zone IV and India Open Championships will give local boxers exposure to international competitions while honing their skill and technique ahead of this year’s major competitions.
“We have to keep in mind that BoBA organizes Inter Club tournaments throughout the season then championships. However, we also acknowledge that boxers need to compete at higher level. These tournaments also test how far we are from Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” Tlouetsile added.
He said the tournaments will also demonstrate to the BoBA leadership and the nation whether the association’s national development plan is working or needs to be improved.
He says the Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) has roped in a sports psychologist, Kagiso Tlhabano, to accompany the boxing national team, while Grace Mmolai, a coach from the Botswana Integrated Sports Associations (BISA) has also been attached to the team.