- BoBA executive says weekend tourney had no sponsor
- Neither BoBA nor clubs have sponsors
The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) is grappling with a significant challenge that is impeding progress of the sport in the country.
Speaking in a telephone interview with Gazette Sports after the latest inter-club boxing tournament over the weekend, the Secretary General of BoBA, Taolo Tlouetsile, said while the event went well, lack of sponsors is a matter of deep concern at BoBA.
He emphasised the detrimental impact of the dearth of sponsorship on boxing clubs. “That the tournament does not have sponsors does not sit well with us at all,” Tlouetsile said.
“That is because this is hurting our clubs as they have to use their own money to travel to competitions even though they do not themselves have sponsors.
“As a result, some clubs have not been taking part in the tournament due to financial challenges, which is disturbing our progress as an organisation.”
Highlighting the unique nature of boxing in Botswana, Tlouetsile pointed out that scouting for new talent requires reaching all corners of the country.
“The absence of school sports is making this even worse,” he noted. “This is because we are failing to discover new talent, unlike in the past.”
But inspite of the challenges, Tlouetsile asserted that BoBA is committed to advancing the development of the sport. “You would remember that Rajab Otukile and Keamogetse Kenosi were the last boxers to represent Botswana in an international youth competition in 2014,” he said.
“Since then, we have not had any boxer representing us in an international youth competition. This means we have a feeder gap of close to nine years, and that is detrimental to our sport.”
Tlouetsile highlighted the urgent need for young boxers to step up and replace the likes of Otukile and Kenosi, who are now facing the second Olympic cycle.
Regarding the women’s side, he noted that only a handful of fighters, including Kenosi, Aratwa Kasemang and Lethabo Modukanele, have consistently represented Botswana.