Hectic year envisaged for local amateur boxers as GABA finalise itinerary
Executive members of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) are in the process of finalizing this year’s activities and boxers are being urged to gear up for a hectic year. According to the Public Relations Officer, Michael Benjamin, two coaches, Terrence Poole and Seibert Blake have been directed to review the existing tournaments with an aim of formulating a structured programme.
Towards this end, activities should commence sometime next month with the Novices Boxing Championship. Benjamin intimated that the executives are currently mulling the idea of dedicating the various tournaments to past or present boxing stalwarts.
Already, several stalwarts have been identified for this project and include the late Andrew Murray, Clifford Anderson and Caesar Barrow.
Ralph Parris, a former national coach who had operated out of the Save the Children Boxing Gym was also identified to be a part of the initiative.
A former national coach and also the man who piloted the Save the Children Boxing gym to a forceful unit, Parris is still alive but recently lost one of his legs to diabetes and is now bed ridden.
Anderson, in whose honour the Sports Hall has been renamed, needs no introduction to the local boxing fraternity. After residing in England for a number of years, the dumpy coach fought Al ‘The Algate Tiger’ Phillips in England and lost the British Empire crown. Many felt that he was ‘done in’ and he returned to Guyana to a hero’s welcome. Shortly before he died the Government had rededicated the National Sports Hall in his honour. Cliff has been instrumental in piloting the amateur careers of some of the country’s best amateurs including Benjamin, Anthony Andrews, Gordon Carew, Wayne Briggs and a host of other stalwarts.
Barrow, a former boxer and coach, will be remembered for his role he played in the lives of boxers from the Ricola Boxing Gym as well as his input as a national coach.
He was also the coach of the now defunct Guyana People’s Militia and was awarded the Medal of Service award for his sterling contributions to sports. GABA executives are currently reviewing the names submitted in an effort to determine the feasibility of the plan.
The idea of a data base has also drawn unanimous support and President of GABA, Steve Ninvalle has already issued directives to his executives to commence works towards this project. Boxers will also get the opportunity of discussing their problems with their leaders following a decision taken by executives to commence regular visits to the gyms. The inaugural visits should begin within one month.
Meanwhile, GABA executives are scheduled to meet with President of the Guyana Olympics Association (GOA), K A Juman Yassin to discuss a range of issues pertaining to the boxer’s development. High on the agenda is the proposed training programme to Cuba. Late last year, the GOA boss had suggested that the coaches identify five boxers for a possible training tenure in Cuba. At that time the fraternity was preparing for an Extraordinary General Meeting to elect a new president following the resignation of the former president.
Ninvalle was elected and shortly after he had convened a meeting with his colleagues to map out a road for the boxers. At that meeting it was decided that the executives would firstly meet with Mr. Yassin to discuss the projections of the Association.
Following this meeting the executives would proceed full steam ahead. They are urging the coaches to get their boxers prepared.