A TRUE BOXING LEGEND : FRANCE MABILETSA

BY:Bakang Raphala

France Mabiletsa needs no introduction as he is among the celebrated boxers that ever happened to Botswana and is part of the athletes that flew the flag of this country to higher limits.

TALKING POINTS

  • Mabiletsa was a heavyweight contender
  • He won the country`s first medal at 1994 Commonwealth games
  •  Mabiletsa is now an active administrator

FRANCE MABILETSA CHAMPIONED THE HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION FOR OVER A DECADE

Mabiletsa has retained the National Champion from 1981 to 1994. He proved his ability by bringing home the country’s first Commonwealth Games medal in 1994.

As if that was not enough he went on to set a pace when he brought the country’s first All-Africa Games medal in 1991.

The boxing legend bagged some medals from FESCAABA Boxing Championships in 1982, 1992, and 1994 scooping silver, bronze, and gold consecutively.

HE PARTICIPATED IN 1998 OLYMPICS

In 1988 Mabiletsa was selected to represent Botswana at Seol Olympics after qualifying and unfortunately, he couldn’t make it. These were the last Olympics in which boxes to participate without first qualifying.

For the year 1992, he was the only boxer to qualify and represent Botswana at the Barcelona Olympics.81 kg star is among the sports personalities who have been awarded Presidential Honor for his selfless service in sport and was also awarded a certificate of excellence by Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).

MABILETSA IS AN ADMINISTRATOR NOW

After retiring from being a boxer, France Mabiletsa joined Tsholofelo Boxing club as their chairman. He has admitted that it is not easy to run a competitive club due to limited resources hence they saw it fit to use former Olympians as coaches given their experience.

2018 France Mabiletsa took home the award of  Affiliate of the year on behalf of his club and Administrator of the year.He is praised for his gratitude for hosting the controversial 2017 National Championships in times of turmoil at Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA).

He attested that they use previous boxers as a guide for those in the national team. They are required to bring the best medal that boxing could bring from the competitions that make them up to their game.

Being at the helm France Mabiletsa emphasized that it is mandatory for the coaches to produce boxers for the Olympics and use advanced systematic methods of training from other clubs guided by training programs. The rated coaches impart their knowledge to the boxers especially in issues of prohibited drugs.

To date under the administration,  France Mabiletsa  does not only produce the best boxers but also produces coaches and administrators. Today the product of Tsholofelo Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza is currently the head coach of the Boxing national team together with former Olympiad Oteng Oteng.

The journey of France Mabiletsa in boxing serves as an inspiration to the boxers and shall they follow in his footsteps, more boxers will scoop more medals. His passion, dedication, and love for boxing and always taking the advice of his coaches have brought him thus far.

Even after retirement, his love for sport did not stop rather he decided to have a contribution and impact on the development of boxing in Botswana.

MABILETSA`S CONTRIBUTION TO BOXING IS UNSUNG

His contribution in boxing goes a long way and he is able to guide the growing boxing athlete to become better and make names for themselves. To date, boxing has only two athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

France Mabiletsa’s  name still has a place in the Sports fanatic’s minds and he remains a successful amateur boxer in the country alongside the likes of Healer Modiramodilo.

He is Botswana sports Hall of fame inductee.

 

 

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Bakang Raphala

Bakang Raphala is a young and upcoming female sports fanatic serving as SPORTSNATION Corespondent.

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