LESOTHO Boxing Association (LeBA) president Katiso Tšenoli says the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) break is a self-discipline test for boxers.
Tšenoli told the Sunday Express on Friday that this is an opportunity for athletes to prove their discipline by maintaining their best fitness levels without being pushed by their respective trainers who are unavailable during the lockdown.
Lesotho went into a nationwide lockdown on 30 March 2020. The lockdown was initially supposed to end on 21 April but it has now been extended to 5 May.
The lockdown was imposed by the government to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus. Lesotho is yet to record any cases although neighbouring South Africa has now surpassed 4 000 cases and recorded 79 deaths. Globally, the virus has killed nearly 200 000 people while infections are nearing 3 million.
All sporting activities have been suspended since last month and Tšenoli said this is the opportunity for boxers to show discipline.
As an individual and indoor sport, he said it would be easy for boxers to maintain their fitness at home.
“The break is going to affect our athletes in many areas but in terms of fitness, it must not be a challenge as they can train at home,” Tšenoli said.
He however bemoaned the lack of the requisite equipment for the boxers.
He said the lockdown came at a time when they were training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and he said they would proceed once the new dates are set.
“The break came at very busy time when we were preparing for the Olympics and looking forward, we hope to stage domestic tournaments so that we can attract sponsors.
“I urge the boxers to stay fit where ever they are because once the lockdown is lifted, we are going to continue with our activities.”
He urged parents and guardians of boxers to help the boxers, especially the juniors to continue training and be vigilant against possible COVID-19 infections.
He said while they would want to assist boxers financially, they are yet to receive any funding for the international bodies that they are affiliated to hence they would not make any promises.
“There is nothing for now, even our international mother bodies haven’t yet promised us anything,” Tšenoli said.
He said as the new president, his immediate target is to ensure LeBA’s financial stability by securing sponsors.
“We need sponsors and our plan is to invite potential sponsors for our upcoming events so that they can come and understand the sport. We hope to convince them to invest into the sport,” Tšenoli said.