The upcoming Gauteng championship has boxers feeling motivated with their eyes set on the gold.
In preparation for the Gauteng championship taking place on May 26, boxers from different clubs around Johannesburg are perfecting their uppercuts and jabs.
The Hugenote Boxing Club, where the team practices on Saturday’s, looks like a typical boxing gym, fitted with heavy punching bags hanging from the ceiling, a boxing ring in the centre, and a trophy stand with medals, pictures and certificates.
Team coach, Duncan Morris used to be an amateur boxer but had to quit boxing for health reasons. After a seven-year hiatus, Morris is now using his boxing knowledge and abilities to train others.
Training sessions are led by Morris and two other coaches, Boetie Lourens and Jennifer Matibi. Each coach has a specific programme for the day, which they execute throughout the training session. These training programmes include, heavy bag workouts, jumping rope, sit-ups, sparring, sprinter crunches, and a run around the block.
“I don’t just observe the boxers during training, I train alongside them. This allows me to lead by example and demonstrate the level of commitment required in training,” Morris said.
The championship will be at the Transnet Engineering Boxing Academy in Pretoria and participants will include boxers from the three Gauteng metropolitan cities namely, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, and Tshwane.
In an interview with Wits Vuvuzela, a boxer from the Johannesburg Boxing team Reggie Mogashoa (27) said that he uses techniques like mental training and meditation to help him stay calm and focused during training.
Morris said that their approach is to also help boxers get mentally/psychologically prepared for the championship by creating a safe space for them to talk about their personal issues.
“Mental strength is crucial in boxing, and physical strength alone is not enough. Lacking mental toughness can make it challenging for a boxer to perform well in a fight,” Morris said.
One of the boxers, Hoosein Isaacs, who is a two-time South African boxing champion told Wits Vuvuzela that he wants to do his best in training and become the champion once again “to regain his status.”
Johan Prinsloo from Transnet Engineering Boxing Academy said that the championship will follow the international boxing rules and “the winner will walk away with a gold medal and will be recognised as a South African champion”.
The championship’s first round is scheduled between May 26 and May 28, while the second round is scheduled for June.
FEATURED IMAGE: The Johannesburg boxing team in training mode as they prepare for the Gauteng championship. Photo: Nonkululeko Mncube
HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals. Photo: Lameez Omarjee
If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.
Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.
Cruising through competition
“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.
Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.
The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.
Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.
“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”
Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.
Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.
However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”
Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”
Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.
Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.
In this episode we take a look at the work of Joburg Theatre, through the eyes of the people that work at there. Justine, who has been at the theatre for more than 20 years, walks us through its history, and Mbongeni, a ballet dancer, tells us how he came to make this beautiful theatre […]