Gaborone — Mafika Boxing Club 52kg boxer, Rajab Mahommed, was crowned the 2017 Male Boxer of the Year at the Debswana Boxing Awards, which were held in Gaborone on September 8.
Rajab's achievements includes winning a silver medal at the Africa Senior Championships which were held in Cameroon and representing Botswana at the world championships in Germany.
"I am very happy about winning this award. I am also happy with Debswana for continuing to support boxing," said the youngster, who pocketed a P10 000 cash prize.
He beat George Molwantwa of BMC and Mmoloki Thipe of Prisons who were other nominees for the award.
The Female Boxer of the Year, which carried P6 000 cash prize, was won by Aratwa Kasemang of University of Botswana.
The 60kg boxer beat Keamogetse Kenosi of DTCB and Gorata Morwe of Gantsi to the award.
Kasemang won bronze medal at the Africa Senior Championships last year and gold medal at the National Boxing Championships.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Botswana Boxing Association for this award and everything that they have done for me. I would also like to thank my coaches as well, especially coach Master Luza who took me from football to boxing and my teammates who support me," she said.
The Junior Female Boxer of the Year award was won by Tshephaone Wowanga (60kg) from Maun Boxing Club, who was the gold medallist at both BISA National Championships and Botswana Games last year.
The Junior Male Boxer of the Year award went to Brian Galelemogwe (64kg) from Lotsane. Galelemogwe won bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games and Botswana Games last year.
Lechedzani 'Master' Luza of Tsholofelo Boxing Club won the Coach of the Year award, while the Administrator of the Year award went to France Mabiletsa from the same club. Tsholofelo Boxing Club bagged a hat-trick of awards when it was voted as Affiliate of the Year.
Godfrey Kablay won the Judge of the Year award, while Sam Kareng won the Referee of the Year award.
The president's award was given to veteran BMC coach Dinners Sikele.
Botswana Boxing Association president Dr Thato Patlakwe said Sikele had shown unwavering commitment to boxing over many years.
"I always find him whenever I attend club activities and that inspires me. The commitment that he has displayed has been tremendous. It encourages us to continue serving boxing. Let's follow his route so that together we can win," said Dr Patlakwe.
Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi, who is also BoBA patron, commended the association for holding successful awards.
He said the emergence of women boxers over the past few years in Botswana should be applauded.
Head of human resources at Debswana, Leloba Mokoto said the fact that the company had sponsored the awards since 2010 shows that they value boxing.
"We believe that recognising boxers for excellence would give them extra motivation to work harder and excel in international competitions," she said.
Source : BOPA