The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) says the take off of women boxing in the country is going very slow.
With almost a year gone since BOBA commissioned the commencement of women boxing, the country has only witnessed a single ladies’ match which occurred last year.
Speaking in an interview, BOBA’s Publicity and Information Secretary, Willoughby Kemoen, admitted that women boxing in the country is yet to gain ground.
“I have to admit that yes, women boxing take off is very slow and this is to be expected as the sport is still at an infancy stage,” the BOBA spokesperson said. “If you may recall, women boxing was included in our 2010 to 2012 plan and it was commissioned to start last year, so we cannot expect to have as many women in the sport as we would like to have.”
According to Kemoen, while they would have loved to have had more than a single ladies’ bout this far, BOBA is aware that this was bound to be difficult as the women boxers had to be developed first.
“We are of the view that even if clubs had female boxers in their ranks, they would be reluctant to get them into the ring as they are yet to be fully developed before they can be thrown into the mix,” Kemoen continued.
He added that another major problem that could have led to the slow take off was that the boxing fraternity had not given women boxing enough attention since inception. He says as such, the BOBA executive will this year give due attention to women boxing to ensure its growth.
He says part of the plan will be to ensure that clubs go on a recruitment drive to attract women into the sport of boxing, thus enforcing the agreement by BOBA affiliates to develop women boxing.
“We want clubs to go into schools and encourage young women to join school boxing clubs as well as community clubs where possible,” Kemoen said.
Meanwhile, Kemoen has called upon women to join boxing as a sport, saying the local boxing fraternity will embrace them. He says the fact that they called a woman boxer to train with the national team points to the fact that the association is willing to help women who embrace the sport to achieve all they could.
He says as an Olympic sport, boxing can give opportunity to women to represent their country on the international arena.
“As an association and as a country, we would be very pleased to send a woman to represent the country in major competitions and we will assist any woman who takes up the sport,” he added. “Another prospect for talented women is that if they so wish, they can even go further and turn to professional boxing and thus earn a living through the sport.”
He rallied women not to fear getting into boxing, which he says though it is a contact sport, there are measures in place to ensure their safety.