MASERU – The Lesotho Boxing Association (LeBA) has selected six boxers for the upcoming African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games. The rescheduled 2020 regional youth competition has been scheduled for December 3-12 in Maseru, Lesotho.
The selected boxers are Tšepiso Lebina (48 kg), Mosaletsane Ranyali (54kg), Toka Litabe (57kg), Molefi Maseela (51kg), Monaheng Khebe (60 kg) and Bokang Makatu (63.5 kg). According to LeBA’s Public Relations Officer, Rethabile Ntiea, the team was selected last Sunday.
“We have made a final selection of six boxers from our long-list of boxers whom were competing for the national team slots,” said Ntiea in an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week. “We had initially trimmed our team down to 13 boxers from the long-list for the past four weeks until yesterday (last Sunday) when we selected the final team.”
Ntiea, who is also the team manager for the Lesotho boxing team, said they held weekend training camps for the boxers in the past four weeks, starting from Friday to Sunday. “Because of school commitments, we are holding weekend training camps and we are going to continue with the training camps to further intensify the boxers’ preparation for the games.”
Ntiea said also as part of preparation for the boxing team, LeBA would hold a national tournament at Makoanyane XI Barracks on November 13, where the six boxers would continue to intensify their performance ahead of the region 5 youth competition. “The national tournament would form part of preparation for our boxers ahead of the Region 5 Games and will be open both senior and junior boxers from all the local teams who are registered with LeBA.”
Ntiea said the national tournament would also serve as preparation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games set to take place in Birmingham, England from July 28 to 8 August. “Since we don’t have enough pool of boxers, we are therefore also aiming to revive the boxing spirit in general.”
Ntiea said the Lesotho boxing team would also get an opportunity to intensify its preparation with a four-nation tournament in Botswana on November 20. “We have got an invitation from Botswana for a four-nation tournament which also include Zambia and Zimbabwe, and
that would be a good opportunity for our boxers to compete in a tournament of that magnitude ahead of the Region 5 Games.” Ntiea, however, said the team would need sponsorship for the Botswana tournament.
“That would be possible if we will get sponsorship for the Botswana tourney.” The boxers are led by coach Daemane Lengola, assisted by Thabiso Nketu; Ntiea is the team is the team manager while Hopolang Makau is the team Covid Compliance Officer.
The boxing team’s camp and selection materialized after LeBA pushed LSRC hard for the past months in a bid to get support from the local sports mother-body in order to be able to intensify its preparation for the regional youth competition. Team Lesotho’s chef de mission and LSRC’s Vice Secretary, Caswell Moru, said the big problem at the time was lack of funds for them to be able to support local athletes in their bid to intensify the preparation for the games.