… Gearing for All Africa Games with focus on Tokyo 2020 Olympics
In preparation for the upcoming All Africa games, the senior national boxing team will embark on a series of international camps in order to be in a good shape for the for the games which are slated for August 19-31 in Morocco.
All Africa Games are contested by various sporting codes amongst them boxing, volleyball and athletics. Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) is expected to take all their nine member team to the games. It comprises of Mmusi Tswiige, Mohammed Otukile, Keamogetse Kenosi, Aratwa Kasemang, Kobamelo Molatlhegi, Pitso Mmopiemang, George Molwantwa, Treasure Moremi and Lethabo Modukanele who all won medals during the Zone 4.3 Championships.
As of now government has committed close to P15 m towards the preparations of the games with each association expected to pocket P1million for their respective training programmes. The boxing team reported for camp on June 12 and they are expected to play a friendly game with Zambia from the 22nd -23rd of June in Lusaka. From Zambia the team will head to Bangkok, Thailand on the 3rd – 28th of July for an international tournament. From the 1st -16th of August the team will be in a training camp in Paris, France which will also part of acclimatizing process.
According to BoBA president Thato Patlakwe they saw it fit to include international camps for the team this time around because their main focus is to ensure that their boxers qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“As much as we are preparing for Morocco games, our focus is on the Olympics because we missed the previous edition. We had a programme as the association which we presented to the sports commission and fortunately they did approve it and now our intention is for our boxers to get everything they want such that they achieve great results,” he said.
“We have to compete with the best for us to improve on our performances. Top coaches, boxers and instructors will be available at the Thailand tournament so this is a chance for us to have better preparations because 22 countries have confirmed their participation and I’m talking about the likes of Germany, South Africa, India, Morocco and Cuba. These are some the world’s powerhouses in boxing. Obviously our team is going to get some serious match practices and access to better training facilities in the countries we will be camping in,” said Patlakwe.
Asked on the costs training camps Patlakwe was cagey with details. “I can’t comment on the how much we will spend on this, but the programme is funded from our yearly grant as well as the funds set aside by BNSC for the preparations of the games. But the good thing is that the Thailand camp is not expensive. We are only paying for our transport while they (Thailand) pay for our accommodation and food during the days of the tournament,” he said.