The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) have revealed that preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth and 2020 Olympic games are already underway, as they look to ‘bounce back’ from a disappointing 2016, which saw the country fail to have a representative at this year’s Rio held Olympics.
Boxing has been one of Botswana’s best performing sporting codes over the years, with a number of great boxers produced such as the likes of Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, Khumiso Ikgopoleng and Oteng Oteng (in mention of only a few), who have went on to to represent the country well in the local and international fronts.
However, in recent years there has been a decline in terms of great boxing talent produced to be compared to some of the above mentioned names, which ultimately led to the country missing out on representation at the Olympic games in a very long time.
This has since seen BoBA return to the ‘crossroads’, to find ways of getting back on track, and make the sport great once again. Gazette Sport learned this in an interview with the association’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kennedy Maragana last week.
“2016 was a year where we really learned a lot, and we believe we will use this experience to make things better going forward,”said Maragana.
He added that, “We have since started our preparations, specifically for the 2018 Commonwealth games, and also the 20210Olympic games. We really want to avoid the disappointments we had this year. The association has hosted a number of tournaments this year, still as a way of preparing for this games, we had the Bot50 tournament where we went around looking for the best of best boxers in the country,” he gave.
The head of communications further admitted that they were somewhat ‘architects of their own downfalls’ as they often relied on “certain” boxers who always let them down.
“The problem we have done in recent years is that we have often relied on certain boxers, but at times they let us down or something happens. Look at what happened with Oteng Oteng, we were confident that he would avail himself for the Olympics qualifiers, but he did not. We believe that we would stand a better chance of doing well if we prepare well, and in time,” he explained.
“There is a lot of development that is going on in boxing, currently we have so many development coaches, which is where we want to focus much on, and they are making good progress,” he stated.
BoBA will host their annual awards on the 19 November, after receiving P224 500 of sponsorship from diamond mining company, Debswana last week.