Big blow as state floors boxing due to Covid-19

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

Boxing has suffered a devastating blow after being left out of the contact sporting codes that are now permitted to start training under level 3 of the Covid-19.

The government, under the department of sport, arts and culture named basketball, fencing, football, handball, hockey, rugby (only players and support staff for local elite league) figure skating, athletics (preparation for national championships and Olympics qualification), ice hockey, motor sport and netball (leagues only) as the only contact sports that are allowed to train.  

There are 25 non-contact sporting codes that are allowed to start training and only professional athletes are permitted to start training.

These two separate lists formed part of the sport department’s regulations that were gazetted yesterday (Thursday).

All the hopes of boxing resuming training that arose after sports minister Nathi Mthethwa's announcement on May 30 that sports teams can begin training under Level 3 regulations but with matches not taking place just as yet federations have now been shattered.

Mthethwa made it clear though that the resumption of training will have to be done under strict supervision in order to maintain a safe environment for those involved.

He gave all sport bodies 14 days to inform the minister in writing as to the date of resumption of training and must provide operational guidelines and guarantee in the form of affidavits related to the testing of all officials.

BSA had last week sent CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka to the Eastern Cape to put in place appropriate systems and practices to comply with health and hygiene measures to mitigate all risks of Covid-19 pandemic.

The purpose was to enable Boxing SA to provide assurances to Mthethwa that all boxing training facilities were indeed safe before a written approval from Mthethwa could be sought that boxing training could be permitted.

The announcement yesterday meant that boxing training still remained prohibited.

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