The state of boxing at Covid-19 level 3

By Andrew Matyila

Boxing supporters in the Eastern Cape are eagerly waiting to hear from BSA what is going to happen with boxing during this Covid-19 level 3 period.

It was hoped that at least training could resume on August 1 but that’s no longer an option as the province is considered an emerging coronavirus hotspot.

During the month of June, BSA officials, led by the CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka, visited some areas in the EC to check on some club building structures, their condition and their readiness for the boxers to resume training.

Clubs visited were mainly those with top rated boxing stars which were assessed whether they meet the required standards. 

No report back from BSA has been given to the EC boxing managers as yet, with the boxing followers also in the dark on the outcomes as the suggested commencement date, August 1st, came. It is said that the managers are to be emailed the results.

The same evaluation has been conducted in other provinces and leaked assessments suggest that Limpopo, Free State, North West, Northern Cape, KZN and Mpumalanga are the only ones considered to resume training by August 1st which also applies to only those clubs with structures meeting the requirements. 

Of those provinces with a nod, it was decided that the clubs utilising government places like Community halls, schools and other public buildings for training, which can also be used by the public for other functions would be closed. 

Those with proper training facilities and well-structured buildings would be allowed to train, but there would be no sharing of gloves, boxing mitts, gum shields or any other workout gear. Contacts of any kind, including sparring sessions and pear balls, would also not be allowed.

Social distancing is of utmost importance and the clubs are required to not exceed five people per training session, including the trainer or manager. Stables with number of boxers above five, would have to make training shifts.   

Sanitising and temperature checks would be the order of the day, and the temperature forms should be filled-in every time one enters the gym. 

Boxers are requested to come to training wearing their training kit, as no dressing room and changing of clothes will be permitted inside the gym.

The inspectors expressed shock at the state of some other gymnasium who use dilapidated buildings for training. They do, however, praise others for their wellbeing and readiness. Their buildings are top notch in terms of being structured and suitable for the occasion. They are always fumigated and are well equipped with PPEs including thermostats. Word is BSA will sponsor clubs with PPEs, but clubs are advised to equip themselves as well.

Boxing managers were also asked by the inspectors their preparedness for training commencement, with some indicating readiness as at present while some say at levels 2 and some at 1. Generally, the BSA inspectors tasked do not think boxing can resume anytime soon.

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