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Boxing | South Africa

Kit Markotter retires after 38 years



Kit Markotter, one of the legends of South African amateur boxing, has retired as secretary of the Johannesburg Amateur Boxing Organisation after 38 years. He was also chairman for 35 years.

He is the only person to have received Springbok and Protea colours for managing SA amateur teams, and has also been awarded life membership of at least seven other boxing bodies, including Sanabo, the SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation.

This was not a bad record for someone who was not interested in boxing and rather disliked the sport when he was a youngster.

When he was at school, Markotter played football. He turned out for a number of teams before joining the Ramblers Football Club in Johannesburg.

After his first season at Ramblers he asked his brother Pat and another boxer, Johnny Watson, if he could work out at their Troyeville Boxing Club to keep fit for soccer.

Markotter was not over-eager to get involved in a new sport, but after a few months he agreed to take part in a tournament.

It was tougher than football. In his first fight he was knocked down three times in the first round and twice in the second. But thanks to his fitness he went on to win by a knockout.

Little did he know then that the bout would turn into a love affair with boxing; an affair that would go on for nearly 60 years, during which he would be involved as a boxer, trainer, manager, official and administrator. One should add ambassador, too.

He won a number of cups in 61 bouts from 1958 to 1967, and at featherweight, he won Johannesburg and District titles in 1960, 1961 and 1962, and also won the Border and Transvaal titles in 1962.

His surname may not provide a clue, but Markotter was born in Paddington, London. The date was 27 September 1933.

He was named Johannes Christopher, after his grandfathers. The nickname Kit apparently comes from Christopher.

His father, who was born in Uniondale in the Cape Province, had gone to London in 1931 to work for an insurance company. There he met Kit’s mother, who was working at another insurance company.

In 1935 his father decided to return to South Africa and they settled in Johannesburg.

TRAINING AND MATCHMAKING

Kit gave up boxing in 1968 and began helping with the training and matchmaking at the Yeoville Amateur Boxing Club.

In 1971 he was appointed treasurer of the Malvern Amateur Boxing Club and at one time he served on 12 boxing committees, of which he chaired eight.

In 1986 he received Springbok colours when he managed the SA team that toured Paraguay in South America. He was also manager of the Springbok team at the 1989 Interstate Games and of the 1992 Protea team at the Mozambique Independence tournament.

It made him the only person to have been awarded Springbok and Protea colours as manager of a national boxing team.

TRAVELLED TO 23 COUNTRIES

Thanks to boxing, Markotter says, he had the privilege of travelling to 23 countries.

His services did not go unnoticed. He received merit awards and life membership of the Malvern Boxing Club, the Southern Transvaal Boxing Association, the Southern Transvaal Boxing Federation, the Transvaal Boxing Association and the Transvaal Boxing Federation, and the SA Amateur Boxing Association, as well as life membership of the SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation.

And in 2000 he was the first recipient of the King Korn Golden Vest Award for his services to amateur boxing.

Showing the same loyalty and diligence that made him such an outstanding sports administrator, Markotter worked for what was then known as the General Post Office.

After 41 years, he retired in December 1992 as a postmaster in Johannesburg.



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