Nomfesane Nyatela decries state of township gyms

Rumble Africa boss Nomfesane Nyathela laments lack of water and other essentials at boxing gyms in townships. / Daily Dispatch
Rumble Africa boss Nomfesane Nyathela laments lack of water and other essentials at boxing gyms in townships. / Daily Dispatch

Rumble Africa Promotion CEO Nomfesane Nyatela is one individual who is not scared to express her views on boxing matters even if it means ruffling feathers.

Nyatela says she appreciates the visit to the Eastern Cape by Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka a fortnight ago to inspect some gyms around the province to put in place appropriate systems and practices to comply with health and hygiene measures to mitigate all risks of Covid-19 pandemic.

But she feels it is something that should have been done years ago for BSA to see where all the many former legitimate world champions were produced.

"Lejaka's visit should be an eye-opener for him to see the general state of our gyms," said Nyatela yesterday.

"Our gyms are not in the required standards that can see training resume any time soon. They are in townships like Duncan Village and Mdantsane. In most of them you cannot get basic things like water.

"Remember, we have been advised to wash our hands regularly to prevent the spread of coronavirus but there's no water at our gyms."

Nyatela added: "Some gyms also don't have toilets. So, you can't compare them to those in Gauteng which have everything. That is why our boxers even leave homes and relocate to Gauteng."

She said BSA and sport ministry must instead use this time to renovate the gyms, buy training equipment and make sure that all gyms meet the standards of boxing.

"Boxing after all is the sport that is governed by the act of parliament, so there should be government intervention to ensure that everything is in order," Nyatela said.

"BSA together with boxing people must also come up with a plan to help each other during and after this Covid-19 period because these provincial grants that are talked about do not accommodate everyone.

"It is even worse for boxers who do not have promoters dedicated to their careers, which means they wait to be given a fight by any promoter."

Regarding the suggestion by her colleagues that BSA must prioritise the convention instead of the awards, she said: "The awards must go ahead but in a similar manner as those of IBF did last month. The IBF acknowledged winners in their absentia. The same must happen here because individuals deserve to be recognised for their hard work and achievement last year.

"Rumble Africa staged seven tournaments, including the IBF Africa title fight which was voted by the IBF last month as IBF Africa Fight of the Year." She said the convention can be convened any time virtually.

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