‘From Rio to London’ Sports Minister tell Guyanese Boxers
The 2012 London Olympic is scheduled from July 27 to August 12 and
three Guyanese Boxers will have their last chance to qualify for the mega event when they depart tomorrow for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to participate in the Olympic Games box-offs.
Joint Junior Sportsman of the Year Imran ‘Magic’ Khan, along with Stefan Gouveia and Burt Braithwaite will hope to qualify for London and yesterday the trio along with Richard Williamson, who will not make the trip due to lack of funding, paid a courtesy call to Guyana’s Sports Minister Dr Frank Anthony at his Main Street Office.
Also present were Steve Ninvalle, President of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association and its technical Director Terrence Poole.
Guyana’s only Olympic Medal was achieved through Boxing when Michael Parris took Bronze in 1980 in Moscow and Dr Anthony reminded the Boxers of that fact and urged them to move from Rio to London where they could equal or supersede Guyana’s 1980 Medal tally.
Ninvalle told the Minister that he was cautiously optimistic of Guyana’s chances in Brazil and expressed gratitude for the Sports Ministry’s contribution to the sport of Boxing in Guyana in recent times, adding that GABA is heeding the Minister’s charge to take Boxing to the rural area.
“We have a talented crop of Boxers in Guyana but funding to provide them with proper exposure is a problem. The Minister is very supportive of local Boxing and the fact that they have bought a ring which can be moved around the country has raised the interest for the sport outside of Georgetown,” Ninvalle noted.
Ninvalle also informed that Khan, who attended a training course in Wales, said his participation in Rio was mandatory if he had wanted to attend the course in Wales. “If we could have sent just one person to Rio, Khan would have had to be that person because of his participation in Wales,” Ninvalle said.
Dr Anthony said that his Ministry is committed to the development of Sports in Guyana and has renewed its Boxing programme.
“We bought the ring and provided gear to the Gyms and we want to ensure that the Gyms all adhere to at least the minimum standards required for proper development,” Dr Anthony added.
He disclosed that a Cuban Coach has been brought in to help lift the standard of Boxing in Guyana and explained that now that the Budget has been passed the Sports Ministry will be working to fully equip the Andrew ‘Six-head’ Lewis Boxing Gym.
“This (Rio Box off) is just one step away from qualifying for the Olympics. You guys can do well and make us all proud so for you it’s from Rio to London,” the Minister told the Boxers.