Local boxing coach, Sibusiso Keketsi, has been awarded the International Boxing Association (IBA) Coaches Instructor status becoming Lesothoâ€™s first coach to bag such an achievement.
The former boxer completed an IBA Coaches Instructors Course in Helsinki, Finland about a fortnight ago.
He has now become Lesothoâ€™s most qualified boxing coach with a three-star coaching certificate.
Speaking with Newsday Sport this week, Keketsi said that he was among 11 coaches from across the world who participated in the course.
â€œThere were only 11 coaches who were invited for the course, and I think I was fortunate to make it onto the list. When I received the invitation, I was happy and emotional at the same time because I had not budgeted for the trip. It came on a short notice and I struggled to get financial assistance from the Lesotho Sport and Recreational Commission (LSRC) and the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) but my family came to my rescue.
â€œI would like to thank my wife because she is the one who made the trip a success. It was a very expensive trip, but it was too good to miss.
â€œThe course was only for coaches who had reached level three of coaching. Since instructing is more about teaching, they also wanted someone with a good educational background,â€ Keketsi said.
Now that he has completed the course, he said he was now qualified to recruit and train coaches from anywhere in the world.
As an international instructor, he is expected to serve boxing association from across the world, hence Lesotho is now at an advantage point for first-hand information from IBA.
â€œI have always been available to help and I am still available to work together with the boxing leadership to help grow the sport locally,â€ he said.
Keketsi was appointed into the IBA coachesâ€™ committee last year. He has been in the boxing field from as far back as 1994 and has won several medals. He was awarded a three-star boxing coaching certificate by IBA in 2014, making him the most decorated boxing coach in Lesotho.
He is the 1996 National Junior Champion who also bagged a gold medal at the 1996 Zone VI Games.
Among his medals haul is a bronze medal from the 1999 All Africa Games, a gold medal from the 2000 Zone VI games and also a silver medal from the 1999 edition.
He competed in the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics and was also a quarter-finalist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
He holds a Bachelorâ€™s Degree in Physical Education and Sport from the International School of Physical Education and Sports in Cuba (2007).
He studied in Cuba through a scholarship offered by West Indies as a result of the countryâ€™s bilateral relations with Lesotho.
He obtained a Masters Degree in Sports Management from the Seoul National University in South Korea in 2016 through a South Korean scholarship.
In 2018, he graduated from the Nippon Sports Science University in Japan with a Coach Developer Certificate.
He has worked for the government from 2007 in the Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation ministry as Assistant Recreation Officer, before being promoted to the position of Principal Sports and Recreation Officer from 2010 to date.