BOXING legend, Moses Kopo has promised success and stability after his election as the new president of the Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) early this week.
Kopo and his committee replaced the Takatso Ramakhula-led leadership.
Kopo, a 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medallist told the Lesotho Times this week that “the biggest challenge is to ensure that boxing is all about the boxers and nothing else”.
“We want to leave office politics and serve the interests of the boxers and their development.
“We want the boxers to know that they are the most important people and that means the committee must assist the coaches to ensure our athletes succeed.”
Kopo stated that the selection of boxers lacked transparency due to the fact that there were no tournaments for upcoming boxers to showcase their talents for selection for major international competitions.
He said his committee visited athletes under the Lesotho National Olympic Committee solidarity scholarship on Monday with a view to establishing a good working relationship.
“Our next step will be to ensure that we have a large pool of coaches with the credentials to coach at the highest level.
“At the moment we only have Sibusiso Keketsi and Liphalo Moeketsi who are internationally recognised so it will be good to bring an expert to train more coaches,” he said, adding they would also explore ways of increasing the country’s pool of referees and judges.
He said he was concerned that there were no tournaments for boxers to hone their skills with the last having been staged almost two years ago.
“Surely we cannot expect the sport to grow when there are no competitions.
“For that to happen, the most important aspect going forward is to ensure there is proper infrastructure for the athletes to be able to compete.
“Top of that list is a ring for matches. I’m told there is an old one that has been abandoned in Mafeteng.
“So it will brought to Maseru for repairs.”
He said the new committee will ensure there is a constitution for the boxing association as well as financial and other reports.
“It is going to be a tough task for us because there are no reports including the financial to give us direction going forward.
“It is very important that we revisit the constitution to make amendments to correct a few things that were not done properly.
“We will also work hard to bring equality by bringing in women boxers and administrators as well as partnering with local and international stakeholders to help us take the sport to another level.”
Kopo however, expressed optimism in the future of the sport, saying boxers such as Moroke Mokhotho had what it took to surpass his achievements.
He said he had trained Mokhotho at Makoanyane Boxing Club and he was the only athlete to win medals at the last two editions of the All Africa Games.
“There is also the NUL boxing team that recently conquered intervarsity games.
“I have worked with different boxing clubs and there was progress. I was at the LDF and results were good, I went to NUL and took the sport under my wing and there were results.
“Because I saw the struggles of boxing since I started as a young boxer I know what is needed. I want to minimise the conflicts so that we join hands and take the sport to greater heights.”
He said his optimism also stemmed from the fact that his committee was made up of people who were boxers.
New LABA executive committee
President: Moses Kopo, vice president: Thabiso Mokuoane, vice president technical: Lehlohonolo Lebotsa, Secretary:Thapelo Motsetsela, vice secretary: Nthati Theko, treasurer :Lehlohonolo Snyman, PRO: Thabiso Tšenoli, members: Rethabile Mohale.
National coach: Sibusiso Keketsi
Executive official legal: Moneuoa Kopo
Executive official medical Makhetha Mosotho