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Boxing body blocked from using hall



MASERU – The Lesotho Boxing Association (LEBA) is fuming after their request to use a hall at Setsoto Stadium was denied by the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC).

The association wrote to the commission on March 12 asking for access to the hall so that the national boxing team could start training.

The following day, LSRC chief executive officer Thabo Tsiki wrote back to the association to let them know the hall, which LEBA previously used for training, has been turned into a storeroom and is, therefore, unavailable.

LEBA wanted to train their boxers early to prepare them for any international competitions they may be invited to.

The men’s team is made up of seven boxers.

Two of them are experienced fighters – Arena Pakela and Qhobosheane Mohlerepe – and the other five are new to the national team and the plan was to get them acquainted with and learn from Pakela and Mohlerepe.

Setsoto Stadium is a national property under the Ministry of Sport. It is said the hall where the equipment is stored has been rented out.

“The contents of your letter have been acknowledged and you are hereby informed that the hall that boxing was initially using for training has been turned into a storeroom for sports association’s equipment,” read Tsiki’s letter to LEBA.

The letter further stated that the hall no longer has enough space for practice sessions anymore.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Tsiki said no association is a permanent resident at Setsoto and the commission must still find a permanent solution away from the national stadium.

He said every association or club that needs to use the facility to prepare for an event has to ask for permission.

Tsiki said he works for sport and would never deny an association the chance to train.

He said boxing should sit down with the LSRC and try to find an alternative solution. That will have to be soon because the stadium is set to be unavailable because it is going to be renovated in the upcoming financial year.

“Like any other association, they ask to use the stadium for training purposes when they are going to events, nobody is a permanent resident at the stadium,” Tsiki said.

“We received a letter from boxing and we informed them that the hall has been turned into a storeroom for sports equipment,” he said.

“Of course, they are not happy but that’s when they should come to us and talk and see if there are any other alternatives. We are already looking at places where we can move the equipment to make the hall available,” he said.

The other alternative Tsiki is talking about is the Makoanyane Hall at Makoanyane Barracks in Ha Leqele.

The hall is often used for boxing events. The problem with the venue is that it is far and it will cost LEBA to transport athletes to and from Makoanyane every day.

The boxing association’s spokesperson, Rethabile Mohale, told thepost they preferred Setsoto Stadium as it is central and accessible to all athletes.

The boxing association feels it has been denied a chance to make their athletes competition-ready, yet when they go outside the country to compete, those in higher places demand results but do little to help.

Tlalane Phahla

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