The Botswana Boxing Association’s (BoBA) president Dr Thato Patlakwe has challenged the Botswana National Olympic Committee to assist his federation with a full time coach. Patlakwe was speaking at the Botswana National Olympic (BNOC) Annual General Assembly (AGA) held in Gaborone this week. In response to BNOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho’s address, Patlakwe said that his federation has been hard done by the BNOC lately as they have not been benefitting from having a full time and experienced coach to work with their elite athletes.
“At boxing, we have recently been suffering in terms of coaches and now the 2016 Olympic games are quickly arriving. We need physical, emotional and financial support if we are to win medals at the next Olympic games in Brazil,” he said. Underscoring the importance of having experienced full time coaches for sport codes, Patlakwe talked of the decline is the performances of athletes since the departure of the Cuban experts that had been brought to Botswana over the years. Said Patlakwe: “Boxing is one of the most affected codes. In previous years we have enjoyed support from Cuban coaches. After that we have seen boxing going on a decline.”
He added: “You really have to carefully consider this matter, we cannot only celebrate when we win medals. We need to put a lot of effort in and fund the athletes.” Moreover, Patlakwe questioned the criteria used by the BNOC to allocate coaches to different sport codes. “As boxing we feel that we are on the back foot in this matter,” he said. In response, Serufho said they could not promise anything in terms of seeking a coach for BoBA. The BNOC CEO added that they have some instruments and a strategic plan that guides them when allocating coaches, and that currently they were not promising anything to Boxing.
Meanwhile, BNOC president, Negroes Kgosietsile reiterated his advice to affiliates that they have to sometimes approach him directly if they have concerns. “The president’s door is open, I may not be readily available but we run a credible organisation; we listen and we believe in team work. This goes for those who do not have the courage to speak out,” he said.