Scramble over venue for fistic game’s awards

The decision to hold Boxing SA awards in the Eastern Cape hangs in the balance as organisers are yet to confirm the venue.

BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

This even though Boxing SA is in a race against time to sort out the venue in order to start with logistical challenges.

Due to delay in confirming the venue, the date of the awards, which is scheduled for January, is yet to be announced.

BSA chief executive Tsholofelo Lejaka confirmed that the date announcement was being delayed by the confirmation of the venue.

This even though the regulatory body wants to release nominations at the beginning of next month.

“It would have been ideal for the preparations if everything was already confirmed,” he said.

“But so far our partners have not yet resolved the matter.”

The sticking point centres around holding the awards in East London or Port Elizabeth. Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Pemmy Majodina announced earlier that Boardwalk Casino in Port Elizabeth would host the awards.

She had hoped for the casino to continue its relationship with the department for which it serves as hosts for its annual provincial sports awards.

Several meetings have been held between the department and Buffalo City Metro to move the awards to East London.

But the absence of an adequate venue has been the biggest stumbling block with East London International Convention Centre repellant due to its exorbitant fee.

Departmental spokesman Andile Nduna said the decision to hold the awards in the province was still on track.

“Preparations are on-going and at an advanced stage,” he said.

However, insiders reveal that even though ICC had offered a discount on its fee, it was still too exorbitant compared to Boardwalk Casino.

But the fact that East London would have been a perfect host due to its boxing hub status, which would truly reflect the sporting atmosphere, is influencing the organisers to find alternative means to tackle the venue debacle.

While this is going on BSA is understood to be increasingly getting exasperated as time is running out.

While Lejaka declined to confirm, insiders have revealed that there are already contingency plans in place should the Eastern Cape fail to provide a venue.

“By this time last year KwaZulu-Natal had already provided almost everything and the slow pace from EC is a bit worrying,” the insider, who is part of BSA awards committee, said.

Lejaka admitted that plans were to sort out everything early for this second edition of the awards.

The awards made a welcome return in January this year when Durban hosted them.

“We used the awards in Durban as a means to gauge where we can improve so it would have been ideal if we could get things sorted out as soon as possible for this edition,” Lejaka said.

Lejaka could not say how long BSA will give the department to officially confirm the venue.

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