The South Africa boxing board has moved swiftly in preparing gyms to put in place appropriate systems and practices to comply with health and hygiene measures to mitigate all risks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The six-member board has been accused by some licensees of being lackadaisical in dealing with the deadly coronavirus that forced the sport and other sporting activities to close shop in March.
But the board, led by chair Peter Ngatane, has proved after sports minister Nathi Mthethwa spoke life in a dead situation by announcing last week that contact sport would be permitted to return to training, that they too want boxing to come back to life.
The board sent CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka to the Eastern Cape last week to visit gyms and put in place appropriate systems to comply with health and hygiene measures.
The purpose is to enable BSA to assure Mthethwa that all the boxing training facilities are indeed safe before a written approval from him can be sought that training can now be permitted.
“The inspection of boxing gyms revealed a mixed bag of observations. It re-emphasised the sharp contrast of economic realities that characterise the broader society of South Africa,” Lejaka said on Monday.
“While some of the gyms we inspected were adequately resourced and had strong leadership and sound management systems, others barely had anything in terms of material resources except their strong willpower to survive, produce world champions and thrive.
“The inspection provided an ideal opportunity for BSA to interact with our trainers in the space where they spend at least five days of each week nurturing talent and grooming champions.”
Lejaka said the visit had afforded BSA a platform from which to better appreciate the hardships that face the lowest ranks of the licensed population and collectively figure out areas where they can intervene.
“Based on the needs analysis from this exercise and within the limited resources that BSA has, some way can be found to assist those struggling gyms at least with basic health and hygiene supplies,” he said.
“This might not be everything but clearly BSA can’t let any gym resume training without basic supplies to screen boxers daily and safeguard the space and equipment. BSA will now fine-tune its process and instruments to roll out a comprehensive nationwide inspection of all gyms led by provincial managers and where board members will also participate.”