BNOC freezes Boxing Association funds
Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) is at the receiving end of a harsh decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to stop making payments to the infightings riven Association of International Boxing (AIBA).
WeekendSport has learnt that IOC has also directed the Botswana National Olympic Commission (BNSC) to freeze BoBA accounts. A statement by the Olympic body states that, “The IOC Executive Board (EB) suspends any financial payments to AIBA, including directly boxing-related payments scheduled by Olympic Solidarity. The IOC is freezing all contacts with AIBA, except the ones on the working level which are necessary to implement the respective IOC decisions.”
Despite the BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho maintaining that the sanction did not suggest that BoBA is implicated in the muddy acts, the boxing fraternity has already been affected. “We get money from IOC to assist national federations and boxing is one of them, there are courses like sport administration and we are constrained to include boxing members as they are still banned, we assist them on several programmes and IOC scholarships. Unfortunately we were told to stop the funding,” Serufho said.
IOC in a confidential letter to BNOC directed the commission to stop programmes which are still on the pipeline and assist in those which were already running by the time sanctions were imposed. “We allocated money for talent identification and Youth Olympics which now we had to stop,” he added. The Youth Olympics will be held in Argentina in October and this is expected to affect the code which is rising from slumber.
BoBA president Dr Thato Patlakwe who says BNOC is yet to alert them about the development has admitted this will affect them. “This means we would not be rolled in the management courses which means will suffer on those regards. Further our young boxers would be hard hit by this especially going for Youth Olympics.”
As it stands the talented local pugilist are still in jeopardy as a dark cloud of uncertainty is hovering above their heads regarding the presence at both Youth Olympics and the 2020 Olympics. “The IOC reserves the right to review the inclusion of boxing on the programme of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement categorically stated.
The IOC (EB) says it is not satisfied with the report prepared by AIBA on its governance, finance, refereeing and anti-doping issues. The IOC EB confirmed the opening of an investigation into the governance of AIBA by the IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.
The IOC’s decision will be influenced by an expected report by AIBA by 30 April 2018.
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The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”
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By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”
“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”
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