MASERU — The new president of the Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) Fako Hakane is planning a complete overhaul of the sport, which is now teetering on the brink of collapse.
Hakane was elected for a four-year term last month after a tumultuous period for the once-thriving discipline.
LABA has failed to hold elections since 2008 due to squabbling among stakeholders.
“It’s a very broad mandate that needs prioritisation,” Hakane told the Sunday Express.
“First and foremost, we need to look for funding. The government subvention that we receive (M190 000) is just not enough to meet our needs.”
Boxing has always been one of Lesotho’s most successful disciplines, enjoying medal success at international competitions.
At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Sephula Letuka won bronze while Moses Kopo took silver at the 2006 Games in Melbourne.
However, the sport has suffered a decline in recent times, with Hakane telling the Sunday Express one of the reasons why local boxing continues to deteriorate is lack of supervision by the association.
“There is urgent need to improve the standard of boxing. We are thinking of introducing a selection panel that would monitor our boxers, throughout the year.”
“In the past, for example, the national champion went to all the international events. The boxers would work hard to be the national champion but tended to relax afterwards. By introducing a selection panel, our boxers would realise they need to remain in top condition at all times,” Hakane, who will serve until 2014, said.
Hakane also said for boxing to regain its former glory, there is need for unity among stakeholders.
According to the LABA constitution, the board’s term of office is meant to correspond with the Olympiad’s four-year cycle, meaning elections should have taken place almost immediately after the Beijing Olympics in September, 2008.
However, congress was deferred countless times because of disagreements within the association.
Last September, LABA elected a new executive at its general congress, with Takatso Ramakhula being installed as the new president.
But the decision was annulled three months later in the High Court.
The court said the elections had been held at a special conference not an ordinary conference, as per the LABA constitution.
Hakane is hopeful the bickering is now a thing of the past.
“I would like to think we will work towards unity,” Hakanesaid.
Hakane said the feuding factions have since joined forces.
“Those people whom we have had disagreements with in the past have been invited to join us in the new dispensation,” he said.