A low-key season for boxing | 05 June 2020
Seychelles Boxing Federation’s secretary general Edmond Folette has revealed to Sports NATION that the 2020 season is expected to be low key with limited competitions for health and safety reasons in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The boxing official said that they feel obliged to ensure that their sport abides by the health guidelines in a bid to guarantee the safety of their athletes in this post coronavirus period where a lot of emphasis is being placed on following the health directives.
“We have met with the coaches and asked them to re-focus the way training takes place to make sure that there is limited contact until we get the green light from the health authorities to engage in more combat,” Mr Folette told Sports NATION.
In fact, Seychelles Boxing Federation’s secretary general Folette said they will be conducting more theoretical sessions with the boxers which will be a new avenue for the coaches, and added that he is confident they will be able to deliver due to their wide ranging experience.
“We are encouraging our coaches to go into theoretical training when we resume on Monday which will be something new so as to teach the boxers the rules of the sport and other technical aspects which will be a good opportunity to broaden their knowledge of these sportsmen until they will be ready to undertake individual training,” Mr Folette related to Sports NATION.
He thinks that this initiation period will last for around six to eight weeks and afterwards, depending on the instruction from the health department, they will move to the next stage of their training.
“We hope to engage a bit more contact in three months’ time depending on the evolution of the coronavirus in our precinct though we will conduct shadow training with sparring a bit later in the year as we build up to some competitions much later in the year,” claimed the SBF secretary general.
On the subject of competition, once again secretary general Folette said that this will depend a lot on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic locally as well as the guidance of the health department towards sports activities.
“We are aiming to have a couple of competitions in around November or December to close our season. We would like if we could organise two competitions to give our boxers a chance to compete in locally despite all the delays and difficulties sports are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Folette explained to Sports NATION.
However, Mr Folette said that even if there is a ban on all international competitions as a result of budget cuts, he is still hopeful that the country’s top boxer, Keddy Agnes, will still be able to attempt Olympic qualification after missing out on gaining automatic qualification when he lost in the semifinal of the African Championships in March. He insisted that it is more important to participate which helps the local federation to benefit for being an active member and participating in scheduled competitions.
“I have talked to the interim AIBA (Association internationale de boxe amateur) president, Dr Mohamed Moustahsan and we remain optimistic that we can send Keddy Agnes for the final Olympic qualification in November in Paris at the World Championships. We are even negotiating with the Moroccan boxing federation about the possibility of sending him for a training camp in Casablanca similar to the one our national team benefited from just before the Indian Ocean Islands Games last year,” Mr Folette told Sport NATION.
Nonetheless, Mr Folette added that this will not be the case for the other boxers in a season which he says has been hampered as six months have already elapsed.
“With all the precautionary measures for sports especially for contact sports, I can say this has been a wasted year where we will only try to consolidate on last season and start afresh next season if all health concerns have subsided locally and in the whole world,” concluded Mr Folette.