The Boxing fraternity,
Almost 74 days since declaration of State of National Disaster and 63 days since the national lockdown, South Africa is now cautiously taking yet another decisive step as we move from Covid-19 alert level 4 into level 3 with effect from 1 June 2020. For us in the boxing sector, the implication is that we are now heading for the third month without any sanctioned boxing activity in South Africa and to a very large extent across the world as well.
Comforting news is that so far, since the first corona virus case was reported in South Africa on 5 March 2020, there still remains no reported case of any of BSA personnel or licensee who have contracted this virus. There is also no known or reported case of any of BSA personnel or licensee who has been arrested or found in transgression of any of the state of national disaster regulations and lockdown restrictions.
Background to this statement is drawn from the following important developments:
2. RETURN TO TRAINING
3. ISSUES FROM SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
As earlier indicated, on Thursday, 28 May 2020 the BSA held a virtual Special Board Meeting. In the main, the focus of this meeting was to make a collective reflection on the impact of Covid-19 to the professional boxing sector and process urgent decision that will assist to bring certainty to specific aspects of BSA’s business process. Key among the issues which the Board then resolved on are the following:
3.1 National Relief Funds
3.2 Provincial Relief Funds
3.3 BSA Core functions
In light of the lockdown situation, licensees are unable to move around and complete their licensing application and renewal process. The Board therefore resolved that the current licenses of 2019/2020 be extended until further directives are issued by the Board with regard to the licensing process.
In the immediate it is worthy to note that BSA is working hard to fast-track completion of the online licensing system. Once completed this electronic system will be accessible even on mobile phones and it will go a long way to eliminate a lot of foot flow in the licensing process except only for medical assessments. Expectation is that the system will be ready in July 2020.
In light of no sanctioned boxing activities since 15 March 2020, there is no movement in the ratings and boxers are therefore unable to fulfil their obligations in terms of championship and contractual obligations. The Board therefore resolved that the status quo with regard to ratings should remain intact as at the last ratings of March 2020.
In light of no sanctioned boxing activities since 15 March 2020, no income has been forthcoming for licensees and the situation is becoming more and more dire. Over and above the national and provincial relief fund assistance, the BSA Board is currently exploring means for BSA to also intervene directly and assist licensees.
Management has been tasked to work out various scenarios notwithstanding the dire financial situation which BSA find itself in. A follow-up special board meeting will be convened specifically for this purpose before 5 June 2020. Further pronouncement will be made thereafter.
Part of BSA’s responsibilities is to train its licensees, more especially the Ring Officials. In light of restrictions on movement and public gatherings, the approach to roll out training for licensees is currently being reviewed. Digital training manuals are currently being developed with a view to shift towards optimum utilization of online and virtual platforms to roll out training.
Immediate focus will be on Ring Officials and more details on this will be available in the beginning of July 2020. We therefore encourage BSA licensees to start familiarizing themselves with this new phenomenon of virtual platforms for social engagements and business process. Having applications on one’s phone, iPad or Laptop such as Skype, Zoom or MS Teams is definitely the new normal and the boxing sector shouldn’t be left behind.
e) Boxing Convention
In light of the global pandemic facing us and applicable restrictions to curb its spread public gatherings have currently been suspended. The implication is that the National Boxing Convention 2020 has to be postponed to the next financial year of 2021/2022. Of course, this too remains subjected to further directives by the National Cabinet on social restrictions.
Intra-sectoral engagements on what was going to be the business of Boxing Convention do however still remain relevant. These documents will be posted on the BSA website so that members can still have an opportunity to go through them, formulate their views and make inputs.
f) Boxing Awards
The Board has resolved that the South African Boxing Awards will proceed and in the immediate the call for nominations should be made before 5 June 2020. Part of the exciting features to look forward to regarding the Awards are, the amendments to the adjudication criteria under certain categories, inclusion of some few new categories as well introduction of some new members to the Boxing Awards Adjudication Panel.
BSA is mindful of the hard impact which our sector and society at large has endured so far. This is definitely not the best position to be in but unfortunately an inevitable one when faced with a global pandemic of this nature. Our most important priority for now should be to ensure that we protect ourselves at all time and brave this storm that’s currently facing.
As we transcend into alert level 3 and prepare for boxers to reunite with their trainers and return to gyms, we urge you all to proceed with caution. Let’s remain on high alert and heed all the national directives as issued from time to time by the national cabinet and appointed authorities. We might be a little dazed and against the ropes for now but we are surely not defeated. We will surely recover and bounce back even stronger than ever!
ISSUED BY BOXING SOUTH AFRICA