BSA prepares for year of good fortune in 2019

Boxing South Africa chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka.
Boxing South Africa chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka said that along with the department of sports, the organisation plans to revive the fortunes of boxing.

"I am sure we can turn this thing around," said Lejaka in May 2016, moments after being announced by then sports minister Fikile Mbalula as the new CEO for Boxing SA.

The eloquent Lejaka said a lot was achieved last year and paid tribute to "the dynamic community of boxing" and its endless love for the sport.

"They deserve a special gratitude and salute. The battle scars we carry from 2018 have not been in vain. They are the baptism of fire that earned our sector yet another victorious year. A year that commenced under the command of a new board, appointed on December 14 2017."

He said BSA has become stable and the board, chaired by Peter Ngatane, has prioritised the strengthening of committees to make them more responsive to current priorities and challenges.

"The medical committee, which was established in November 2017, did an amazing job," he said.

"Stability in our governance and administration was signified by yet another unqualified external audit outcome.

"We delivered a successful edition of the SA Boxing Awards in February 2018.
The hard work of our Women in Boxing Committee also assisted us to exceed the number of 100 female licensees for the first time ever!"

Boxing SA hosted the inaugural regional convention of all professional boxing commissions in SADC, which coincided with the Africa Month celebrations in May.

"The historical milestones realised last year alone are now a matter of public record. Boxing SA also unveiled the newly designed South African national title belts on 2 November 2018," said Lejaka.

However, Lejaka warned that Boxing SA cannot bask in its glory and be complacent.

"We need to step up, hold up our guards, be on our best foot and start boxing.

"We need to intensify our licensee training programme, working with some of our retired boxing administrators and veterans. We need to resume our training of licensees," he said.

"In 2018, our focus was mainly on boxers and anti-doping checks. This year, we need to focus also on ring officials and other categories. We need to improve our licensee registration process and, most critically, ensure that we accept the right people with the right qualities into our respective licensee categories.

"We need to ensure that by April 2019, each licensee has received his license/identification tag. We need to spark a dialogue among the boxing community, starting with the postponed promoters workshop on 30 January 2019."

Lejaka touched the most critical nerve, the annual boxing convention. It has been the norm since Boxing SA came into being in 2001 that a day after the annual awards, there would be a national two-day convention, but that has not been the case since the return of the awards in 2017.

"We need to start preparations for a boxing convention in February 2020," he said in his parting shot.

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