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Monday, April 17, 2017

Kopo promises change for Lesotho boxing

Lesotho boxing legend Moses Kopo, left, at the 2006 Commonwealth Games
Boxing legend Moses Kopo says he intends to bring change to the sport after he was voted the new president of the Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (LABA) late last month.

Kopo was memorably the silver medal winner at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and his election has brought excitement to local boxing fraternity.

For the past few years boxing has been dogged by infighting that has affected the growth of the sport.

Kopo, however, said the conflicts would be a thing of the past.

“We want to leave office politics and serve the interests of the boxers and their development,” Kopo said.

“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, of the Makoanyane Boxing Club, said his committee wants to establish a good working relationship with boxers and grow Lesotho’s pool of qualified boxing coaches.

“Our next step will be to ensure that we have a large pool of coaches with the credentials to coach at the highest level,” he said. “At the moment our only internationally recognised coaches are Sibusiso Keketsi and Liphalo Moeketsi so it will be good to bring an expert to train more coaches.”

Kopo also wants the country to host more tournaments and increase focus on women’s boxing.

“Surely we cannot expect the sport to grow when there are no competitions. The most important aspect going forward is to ensure there is proper infrastructure for the athletes to be able to compete,” he said. “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.”

One of the new LABA committee’s first tasks is to amend its constitution and ensure the proper organising of finances and reports, Kopo said.

“It is going to be a tough task for us because there are no reports (from the previous committee) including financial to give us direction going forward,” he explained. “It is very important that we revisit the constitution to make amendments to correct a few things that were not done properly.”

To achieve all his targets, Kopo said he will use his experiences as a boxer as a barometer.

“Because I saw the struggles of boxing since I started as a young boxer I know what is needed,” he said. “I want to minimise the conflicts so that we join hands and take the sport to greater heights.”

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