Boxers benefit greatly

2015-08-12 06:00
PUNCHING POWER: Legendary boxers who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s, with Mathabo Leeto (middle), the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation,  at the presentation of sports equipment and attire to 136 schools and 70 sports cl

PUNCHING POWER: Legendary boxers who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s, with Mathabo Leeto (middle), the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, at the presentation of sports equipment and attire to 136 schools and 70 sports cl

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LOCAL sports clubs and schools in the Free State dedicated to developing competitive athletes have received a valuable donation of equipment to continue their mission.

A wide range of sports items, including attire, were presented by Mathabo Leeto, the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, at a function in Welkom on 31 July.

Although the exact number of equipment donated was not disclosed, the department stated that 136 schools and 70 sports clubs received donations.

The clubs and schools are said to be actively involved in sports development programmes aimed at producing competitive athletes, present and future, who will represent the Free State nationally and South Africa internationally.

The recipients were jointly identified by the Free State Department of Education and the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.

The clubs and schools were chosen according to the following criteria: quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools in the province; previously disadvantaged schools; schools ranked among the top achievers in 2014; provincial competition winners; schools actively participating in sport; and schools in close proximity to one another to facilitate league programmes.

The willingness of the schools, the schools’ principals and the respective school governing bodies to participate in sports programmes also served as a qualifying factor.

A wide range of sports items and equipment were distributed to clubs and schools in the five regions of the Free State: the Mangaung Metro, Lejweleputswa, Fezile Dabi, Thabo Mofutsanyana and Xhariep.

Leeto also presented sports items and equipment to 20 community sports hubs in the Free State: (five in Fezile Dabi), (four in Lejweleputswa), (four in the Mangaung Metro), (three in Xhariep) and (four in Thabo Mofutsanyana).

These hubs (facilities) are considered to play a critical role in the development of sport as centres catering for different types of sporting codes in the immediate communities they are located in.

Two such centres cater for boxing – the Kid Spider Boxing Club in Maokeng, Kroonstad, and the Bayethe Boxing Club in Thabong, Welkom.

These are managed by retired Free State boxers Dutch Molebeledi and Spider Moeketsi, who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s. The two clubs boast a competitive crop of professional and amateur fighters. The Kid Spider Boxing Club also doubles up as an aerobics club.

“I welcome the donation. It will certainly go a long way in enabling me to gradually develop a pool of competitive boxers in both the amateur and professional ranks. I had a limited intake of boxers due to a lack of training equipment,” said Moeketsi, manager-cum-trainer.

“This is a major shot in the arm (added strength given) to my stable. I have been struggling to train boxers properly, because I did not have essential training items. This resulted in the number of prospective fighters dwindling. I’m very thankful for the generous gesture,” Molebeledi said

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