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02 August 2022

By Eamonn Ryan

Champions 4 Charity is an annual event whereby an essential component of the construction sector, plumbers, gives back to the community through a charity boxing challenge.

The women’s bout gets under way

On 30 July 2022 at the Royal Elephant Hotel in Centurion, volunteer boxers, both white-collar and professional, faced off against each other in the ring to raise funds for various nominated charity initiatives and organisations.

A highlight of the evening was two women facing up for their favourite charities: Norah Motsoeneng versus Liandi Janse van Rensburg

Norah Motsoeneng aka ‘Indlovukazi’, fighting on behalf of the charity the Wot-if Trust, said: “I’m involved tonight for the love of my chosen charity and to do a good deed for all the guys out there – as well as the boxing of course. I live for boxing: when I was in high school I did the sport and only left it as it might have been detrimental for me to later have babies. I’ve been back at it for a good couple of years now. For this bout I’ve been training very hard for over six months now. And every single day is a challenge.”

Working in the construction sector, Motsoeneng is the Johannesburg South area manager for plumbing supplies company Plumblink. “I’m in charge of auditing 10 branches. I enjoy plumbing and actually wish I could have my own plumbing company one day. In plumbing, I started in 2016 as a branch manager for Plumblink in Xavier, south of Johannesburg and prior to that I was working for more of a plumbing fitment company. So I’ve been almost all my working life in plumbing.

“Women do experience certain challenges in work in this field, especially when it comes to men who think that women cannot do plumbing jobs. In fact, women get onto the roofs, we get into the gutters – we still get the job done. If anybody can do it better, it’s us (women) because we’re the better multi-taskers.”

Although worldwide only about 3% of people in plumbing are women, Motsoeneng says in Africa “the number is going up: it’s higher in Africa”.

“My charity is Wot-if, which is associated with my company Plumblink, one of the sponsors of this evening.” Wot-if manages a number of programmes based on expressed community needs established during stakeholder engagement and consultation. The key focus is on developing women and youth, nurturing education and cultivating a spirit of entrepreneurship, to ensure the creation of sustainable opportunities.

Two of the male boxers hamming it up

Liandi Janse van Rensburg aka ‘Lioness’ was fighting on behalf of Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng Nursery Home.

She enjoys the game of boxing “very much” but as with the others was there that night for her charity, and went on to win her bout for the second year in a row.

“It’s all for a good cause. I was introduced to the event by a friend, Lea (Smith, chairman of the PIRB) and met with wonderful coaches and so here I am. I train three times a week usually as it is my regular game, and at the moment preparing for the fight I have been training four times a week.”

“Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng’s a nursery and preschool for underprivileged kids.” Its purpose is to create a safe environment for orphaned children, children from abusive households and destitute women within the community of Olivienhoutbosch. It creates a safe environment by providing psychological, educational and health care assistance. Through partnering with individuals and other organisations it provides support through an Early Childhood Development Centre, skills developmental program, mentoring programme, and various income-generating initiatives that are run by beneficiaries. Its ultimate goal is to empower the disenfranchised so that they may be compelled to confront the challenges in their own community.

The event was an initiative of its host, the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB), to contribute toward solutions for the development and growth of our country, and to plough back into society. It marked the third round for this adrenalin-filled boxing epic.

PIRB Chairman Lea Smith says: “All net proceeds raised during the Champions 4 Charity event, through the sale of sponsorship packages and tickets, as well as through donations, were to be donated to the various charity initiatives or organisations nominated by the respective boxing contenders. As South Africa also celebrates July as Nelson Mandela Month, Madiba, who was a keen boxer himself, he would be proud to see its people unite in the fight to uplift our society and help those in need.

“A punch with a single finger, makes no impact. However, a punch with a fist, consisting of all fingers of one hand, can deliver a knockout impact. Together we can make a greater difference.”

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