Sports woman of the Year
When she walks into a room or any occasion, the 25-year-older boxer will definitely intimidate you with her well-built and fit structure, especially when on six inch heels. But despite the fierce look, when you come close to her you will notice a soft-spoken woman who just likes to smile.
Pearl Morake is one of the few female boxers in the country. It is not surprising that she is the first lady to represent Botswana in the code following the introduction of the sport. And now she has gotten the ultimate recognition for her sterling efforts and rare talent.
She was at the weekend named the Sports woman of the year at the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) awards. This is an award that has been dominated by one of the best women athletes that has ever come out of this country Amantle Montsho. Morake said she was introduced to boxing in 2010 when she was about 20 years of age. She used to play netball before she actually realised her passion in boxing. In 2011, she got her first competition at national level, and had a call to the national team in 2012 and since then she has been the imperative part of the female boxers in the country.
She is a four times national and Zone four champion. She cherishes all the moments in her life as a female boxer. She said it is time female boxing is made more approachable in the country, so that most ladies can be comfortable in taking part in it. She said the journey has not been all smooth resource wise and that coaches used to be too lenient on them just because they are females. Coaches took it that they couldn’t do things the way the male boxers did. She said it is through their international experience that they got to learn how to be strong female boxers. Morake said female boxing needs more funds so that it can end up measuring up to the same standard as male boxing. She said when they are at the gym training there is only a small difference between males and females. “The only difference is how a female body responds to training which can be different from that of a male athlete,” she said. Just like any code that is male dominated, Morake said she had to prove to the male counterparts that she could do it.
She revealed that she also has to deal with people’s stereotypes as a female boxer. She said that she always comes across people who say that her face always tells something that is totally distinct, intimidating. “It all takes hard work; you have to give it all it takes. It is not about looking a certain way; one should play a certain sport,” Morake added. She said she played netball just because of her height; with boxing it is because of passion and love. She said whenever she gets in the ring; it is either to ‘win’ or to ‘learn’. She believes that if female boxing had started early in Botswana she would be very far by now. She said that after qualifying for the Olympics, she will make sure that when she comes back she nurtures the young aspiring female boxers and give them what she never had. She said that it delights her to know that she does something that not many ladies do, like waking up at four to go to the gym every day. “To me it is not a hobby; it is just something that I believe in,” she said. She revealed that people tend to be intimidated by her, whenever she tells them she is a boxer, especially men. She said despite that she has never seen the need to explain herself to anyone.