Gauteng to fund boxing awards gig

Tsholofelo Lejaka, BSA CEO
Tsholofelo Lejaka, BSA CEO
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The Gauteng government will bankroll BoxingSA awards to take place at Sandton Convention Centre on May 17.

This has been confirmed by an excited and relieved Boxing SA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka.

It was rumoured that the provincial government will work together with BSA in honoring the men and women who excelled in their various categories during the period between November 1, 2017 to October 31 last year.

And Lejaka confirmed the partnership which he said reads like a script out of Charles Perrault fairytale novel. He said updates were pointing to North West province as the host province until Gauteng stepped in.

"While discussions with the North West province remained constructive and positive, the pace was rather slack and time was running out for BSA. Gauteng then stepped in and saved the awards," said Lejaka.

"Gauteng was keen to host this prestigious sporting event and stamp its authority as the true home of champions and destination for major competitive sporting event. The process was, however, not outright smooth sailing."

Lejaka said Gauteng's interest was to have a competitive professional boxing activity and, on the other hand, BSA needed to host its third boxing awards event since the re-launch in 2017.

"The question was, therefore, how the two were going to coexist under one roof and within the provided timelines," he said. "It was in the attempt to reconcile these two interest points that an even more beautiful product emerged.

"Instead of the traditional model, the two then designed a combo package that includes the awards and tournament elements."

He said on the structural side, the two then extended the partnership to also include the Gauteng Promoters Association as well as the Arnolds Classic Africa Multi-Sport Festival. On the structural side, Lejaka said the Gauteng government took responsibility for the tournament.

"The tournament will be the inaugural project to be delivered by the newly registered nonprofit, boxing promotion entity the Promoters Association of Gauteng.

"Instead of a traditional process where promoters first compete through a bidding process to determine which one would ultimately be appointed to host the tournament, this year promoters would work together to host the tournament,"
he said

"This is true testimony of what is possible when promoters put their differences aside and work together in the bigger interest of our sport of boxing."

Lejaka said, on the other hand, BSA was specifically responsible for the awards and this includes, accommodation and travel arrangements for the nominees as well as their prizes, trophies and attire.

"BSA will also be responsible for guest list management and guest experience, venue set-up, stage production, event running and venue branding to ensure that the awards do indeed live up to their reputation as one of Mzansi's most prestigious sporting celebration," he added.

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