Reports coming out of the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) camp this week are that the once thriving sport code is currently experiencing financial doldrums. The state of BoBA financing came under scrutiny after the cancellation of the association’s flagship national championships, which was scheduled for Jwaneng mining town this month. Allegations reaching Sun Sports are that BoBA spent close to P 450 000 on 49 kg boxer Mohammed Otukile’s participation at the AIBA World Boxing Championships held in Germany recently. According to sources this misguided trip to Germany is alleged to have contributed to the bleeding of the associations’ already depleted coffers. According to sources close to the matter, the association failed to draw an accurate budget and ended up spent thousands of Pula’s in assisting Otukile to compete in Germany. However, decisions made leading up to the world championships have came back to haunt the association after Otukile did not make it past preliminary stages of the event.
This past week saw BoBA shocking the local boxing community after an abrupt cancellation the 2017 national championships just two days before the event. “We regret to announce the cancellation of the planned 2017 championships scheduled to be held in Jwaneng. The championship has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control,” reads an official statement from the troubled association.
The national championship and the Best of the best tournaments are the biggest events in the BoBA calendar. Cancellation of the event greatly disappointed both boxers and coaches as they worked hard all year in anticipation of the showpiece. A week before the scheduled event, some boxers who preferred to speak under the condition of anonymity were already suspecting something odd would happen. “Silence from our leadership was just too much, nothing was being said to us and we had doubt that this event will go on,” they said.
This week some of the boxers within BoBA told Sun Sports that they received reports suggesting that the association was financially constrained. Nevertheless, BoBA is said to have held negotiations with a potential sponsors from the diamond-mining town, which gave boxers a ray of hope. It is only through the championships that BoBA gets to select national team athletes. However, due to the current situation, it remains unclear how BoBA will resolve the situation.
On the other hand, some boxers were arguing that it would not be fair for the management to select athletes based on their interclub tournaments. In addition, sources within BoBA argued that the whole situation is most likely to ruin a relationship between BoBA and Debswana Mining Company. Debswana has been sponsoring the amateur combat sport awards for the past few years. The awards are normally held shortly after the national championships and served as motivation to athletes who excelled throughout the year. Apart from international bouts, it is only through national championship that boxers can receive monetary prizes from BoBA in some occasions.“Some of our athletes are unemployed, and are only in boxing for the love of it.
As we speak athletes have not been given an explanation as to why the tournament was cancelled, it is disheartening, “said one local boxing coach who preferred anonymity. For his part BoBA president Thato Patlakwe said allegations suggesting that Otukile played a part in BoBA’s current financial status are not true. “The bulk of the finance was from Otukile ‘s Olympic and Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) funds, we did assist but only to a small degree,” Patlakwe said. Patlakwe confirmed that the association does not have money saying they spent a significant amount of money sending both athletes and coaches abroad.
The BoBA president revealed that they used a significant amount of money in developing athletes, coaches and referees. Among others they sent nine boxers to All Africa Boxing Championships held in Congo Brazzaville a few months back. Moreover he said, “We sent 10 coaches and referees to Namibia and another 10 to South Africa, our mandate is to have enough qualified personnel of world class standard, we felt it was necessary to invest in them and they did us proud.” The soft-spoken president said there is no need panic just yet as there is a possibility that they can still host the national championships before the end of the year. He said they had almost sealed the deal with the people of Jwaneng however they could not agree on the last details of their agreements. “We did not want to ruin our partnership, there is a possibility of bringing a very glamorous national championship next year because we are busy engaging different stake holders for financial assistance.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”