Local sports administrators are entrenching themselves on the international stage following a number of appointments to global bodies. The latest appointment is that of boxing leadership to the International Boxing Association (AIBA) structures.
AIBA has appointed Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) President Thato Patlakwe and additional member Hlanganani Nkutlwisang-Digwere to the medical and women’s commissions respectively. The appointments are effective March 2019 until 2022 when AIBA affiliates around the world convene for an elective general assembly.
The duo joins the likes of Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego and former Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) chairperson Solly Reikeletseng who are serving in various committees at international level. Lebotse-Sebego is currently the president of Africa Netball while Reikeletseng serves in the executive committee of TAFISA, position he was elected to in 2017.This also follows recent appointments of local chess officials Marape Marape, Tshepiso Lopang and Motlhokomedi Tlhabano who were also chosen to various FIDE commissions early this year.
Patlakwe, who is a medical doctor by profession, will serve in the Medical Commission as an ordinary member which means his duties will be to provide expertise and knowledge to ensure the rules and the medical practices in AIBA competitions can safeguard the health and safety of the boxers. In addition Patlakwe’s committee will oversee AIBA’s Anti-doping rules, establish standards, evaluate and certify ringside doctors for various competitions sanctioned by the organisation.
Patlakwe has confirmed his appointment and expressed gratitude for serving at a high level which he believes will be of great benefit to Botswana boxing.
“This appointment means a lot to me as an individual because I have sufficient medical training and up to date knowledge of sport medicine and experience in sports competitions, more especially boxing and other contact sports. I will be able to use my knowledge and provide advice in our sport both locally and internationally and this on its own shows growth on our part as Botswana boxing therefore this will put us in the world map. So I will use this opportunity to monitor medical risk, quality and compliance within AIBA and Botswana as well as to develop, review appropriate policies and reporting within medical compliance,” said Patlakwe.
Patlakwe has also emphasized the need to develop a strong medical commission with vast sport medicine knowledge for Botswana. He said a Contact Sport Medical Commission with personnel such as nurses, para-medics and physiotherapists is necessary in order achieve the highly desired results locally something which remains dream for the country.
For Nkutlwisang-Digwere, who is appointed to the Women’s Commission, the appointment has come at the right time when BoBA is trying to keep their very own commission afloat therefore her experience at AIBA level will be of great benefit locally. Nkutlwisang-Digwere is a referee judge, having also served as secretary of Referee Judges Commission and also the chairperson of Women in Boxing. At AIBA level the commission has a mandate to provide advice to the executive committee on the development and implementation of gender equality policy and strategies which promote equal opportunities for women to participate and benefit from boxing.
“BoBA has a women’s commission and this position will give a clear direction for us. BoBA will also have to increase a number of women participants in all departments, be it boxers, officials and administrators. This will be done through advocating for those women who are capable through their commitment to the sport. For the first time BoBA will experiment the monitoring of women in boxing, their participation and clubs will be encouraged to have a conducive environment for women. Issues of abuse will also be discussed and policies on women boxers will be implemented to guard against issues of sexual abuse in the sport because this is one of the problems which scare women away from boxing,” said Nkutlwisang-Digwere.