Women's boxing is gaining popularity on the campus in Mahikeng with an increasing number of enthusiasts joining each year, taking this male-dominated sport to another level.

The NWU women’s boxing team retained the University Sports South Africa (USSA) National Championships title during the USSA tournament held in Secunda from 2 to 4 December 2019.

Eight women boxers from the NWU took part in the tournament and came home with five gold medals, two silvers and a bronze. All eight were also selected for the USSA national team which will represent the country in Lesotho later this year.

Members of the NWU women’s boxing team dominate the North West Province’s elite boxing team which produced the province’s sportswoman of the year in 2019.

Blow-by-blow the best

The team also boasts the first female coach to win the USSA Boxing Championship and the first female to retain it in 2019. Coach Onalenna Tsae, who also trains the campus’ men’s boxing team, is the USSA national boxing coach.

Onalenna has been acknowledged as the best USSA boxing coach for a record three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, and the best coach in the North West Province in 2018 and 2019.

She says it took perseverance and dedication to make it as a boxing coach in what is still a male-dominated sport.

“I faced the challenges of the province accepting that not only am I a woman, but also that I am the youngest coach,” says Onalenna.

Another heavy hitter

Lemogang Moote, a member of the NWU female boxing team, has also broken through the gender barrier: she is chairperson of the NWU boxing team and chairperson of the North West Open Boxing Organisation (NWOBO) Athletes Commission.

She was named sportswoman of the year at the 2017 NWU Mahikeng Campus Sports Awards and took silver at the 2017 North West Provincial Awards for newcomer of the year.

Lemogang also won the USSA championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and was North West's player of the year in boxing for 2018 and 2019. Lemogang has nine wins and five losses to her name.

In addition to winning in the ring, the NWU female boxers say their main aim is to challenge the stereotypes that still prevail in the world of boxing. Make no mistake, boxing is for women too.

These NWU women boxers dominated the 2019 USSA boxing tournament.

NWU women boxers are packing a powerful punch in and outside the ring, winning awards and knocking aside misconceptions that boxing is a sport for men.


rule the ring

Hover on the images to read more.

NWU sports manager Rick van Rooyen congratulates Lemogang Moote after she has won the Sportswoman of the Year award in 2017.
Coach Onalenna Tsae gives instructions to an NWU boxer during a boxing match.