Boxers to resume training next month: BSA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka

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

Professional boxers will be allowed to resume training on August 1. Boxing SA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka told SowetanLIVE in an exclusive interview on Tuesday evening.

However, amateur boxing has been excluded from the resumption of training.

Lejaka, who has been hard work travelling to various provinces put in place health and hygiene system for the sporting code to comply with Covid-19 regulations, said boxing facilities were now safe for training.

Lejaka last month went to 16 gyms around the Eastern Cape to conduct inspections. This was followed by another trip that Lejaka, together BSA chief medical officer Dr Solly Selepe, undertook in North West for the similar reason.

BSA board member Khulile Radu and Gauteng provincial manager Lehlohonolo Ramagole spent last week in KwaZulu-Natal doing gym inspections.

Lejaka successfully assigned provincial managers in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Nelson Mandela Metro and East London to also conduct the inspections. Their work, with the backing of the seven member of Boxing SA  board – has paid dividends.

In a media statement Lejaka said: “On the July 2020 the board of Boxing South Africa held its regular quarterly meeting and passed a number of resolutions, key among which is the much anticipated approval for resumption of non-contact training under strict conditions. Other board resolutions will be communicated later in a separate update to licensees," said Lejaka.

The man has been spending sleepless nights including travelling to provinces to put in place appropriate systems to comply with health and hygiene measures to mitigate all risks of the Covid-19 pandemic with the purpose to enable Boxing SA to assure Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa that all the boxing training facilities are indeed safe before a written approval from him can be sought that training can now be permitted.

Lejaka – who together BSA Chief Medical Officer doctor Solly Selepe – also conducted inspection in gyms around North West. BSA board member Khulile Radu and Gauteng provincial manager Lehlohonolo Ramagole spent a week in KwaZulu-Natal where they did exactly what Lejaka did to the 16 gyms around the Eastern Cape. Lejaka assigned provincial managers in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Nelson Mandela Metro and East London to do the same. Their work, with the backing of the seven member of Boxing SA  board – has paid dividends.

The resumption of the training comes after on June 11, Mthethwa gazetted the directions for resumption of Sport, Arts and Cultural Activities under level 3.

"Following an elaborate and rigorous process by the department, on 9 July 2020 BSA received an approval from the minister. The approval is for resumption of non-contact training as per the operational plan submitted by BSA.

"The BSA board discussed the minister’s approval and expressed its unreserved appreciation and gratitude for this major breakthrough which couldn’t have come at a better time. The board further noted that notwithstanding the Minister’s approval, BSA still need to allocate time to ensure that all systems are in place before giving its own green light for boxing gyms to resume training. For that reason, the Board resolved that boxing gyms can only start to operate from 1 August 2020 provided that they comply with the following requirements as clearly spelt out by the minister:

 

  1. For now, approval is strictly for training and NOT competitions/ tournaments.
  2. The trainer/ manager responsible for the gym must sign acceptance letter of appointment as Compliance Officer and return the signed copy to BSA.
  3. Covid-19 test results of boxers and trainers must be submitted to BSA.

 

  1. Each boxing club must have submitted its Gym Inspection Form and addressed the areas in the inspection form which were still lacking.
  2. Only licensed BSA boxers can attend training (No SANABO boxers or unlicensed practitioners)
  3. Gym must be disinfected and cleaned every day
  4. Training times provided in the Gym Inspection Form must be adhered to enable BSA inspectors to monitor compliance, including through unannounced visits.
  5. No spectators or visitors are allowed at training venues.
  6. Gym must have received its Covid-19 attendance register from BSA and the Compliance Officer must ensure that it is kept for all people entering the gym.
  7. All people entering the gym must wear masks and must be screened on daily basis.
  8. Any person with high temperature must not be allowed to enter the gym ( ≥ 38°C)
  9. Gyms in areas declared as hotspots will not be approved to reopen unless an advisory is received from the Department of Health and extra precautionary measures are put in place after receiving this advisory from Department of Health.

 

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