Latest update March 21st, 2023 12:59 AM
Jul 16, 2008 Sports
Former boxer and CAC medalist Mark Yaw is lending his knowledge to the youths of Port Kaituma in the ‘sweet science’ of boxing with the opening of a gym in the hinterland community.
The gym has received the recognition of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and has also received equipment from GABA compliments of a donation made recently by the British High Commission.
Paying a visit to Kaieteur Sport yesterday were Yaw and GABA President Affeeze Khan. Yaw, who won his CAC medal in Cali, Colombia in 1971, was a ferocious competitor, who also campaigned in the United States.
He divulged that several friends encouraged him to give back to his country after returning home, by teaching the finer aspects of boxing to youths in the Port Kaituma area, because they were lacking much sporting activity.
Yaw stated that he traveled to the interior location and noticed that many youngsters there were involved in football, no other organised sport being played there. He introduced himself and invited those interested to take up boxing.
After a favourable response Yaw took things further and wrote to the NDC of the Port Kaituma/Matthews Ridge/Arakaka Region 1 District on June 10 for the use of a multi purpose facility at Fitzroy Port Kaituma and received a response on July 8 offering him the use of the newly constructed building. He entered into a contractual arrangement with the NDC to also serve as its caretaker.
Using his personal finances along with the help of friends and several business persons in the area including Shem Cuffy, Yaw travelled to the city to purchase boxing gear and ‘bumped into’ GABA president Affeeze Khan and following initial discussions, the gym was given affiliation to GABA. A request was also made for additional gear and Khan presented same compliments of a recent donation by the British High Commission.
After his initial start in June, Yaw has about 26 boxers training at his gym. He expressed joy at being able to meet Khan and for the gift of equipment.
Yaw informed that the help he is receiving from the community is tremendous and he is extremely grateful. Several persons in the area make varying donations and this enables him and his boys to prepare meals after every training session for which he is happy.
He thanked the NDC for showing faith in him and the efforts of GABA and its president Affeeze Khan, and those who have and are continuing to help. Among them are Troy Jerrick, Mark the manager of Red Neck Grocery Store, Shem Cuffy, Uncle Fred and the parents.
It was further disclosed that the Port Kaituma gym has been invited to participate in the upcoming National Championships at the gymnasium from the 18-20 of this month. The invite has been accepted but several parents expressed concerned about their children travelling to the city.
Khan gave full guarantees that the visiting youngsters will come under GABA’s ‘starters programme’ which will see them fighting in similar weight, age and experience categories. He also assured the parents that their children would be safe.
Some 80 fighters from several gyms including Linden, Berbice, Essequibo, Bagotsville, Mocha, Sophia, Agricola, Albouystown, Republicans and GDF will be contesting the championships.
The out of town fighters will be housed at the gymnasium and Khan is still soliciting assistance to provide meals for the boys. While he would have received donations, they are still in need of more.
Khan expressed appreciation for the efforts of Yaw and his committee in Port Kaituma, pledging full support to aid the spreading of boxing around the country.
Khan thanked those who have supported the sport, stating him and more so the fighters would covet their continued support and assistance.
He mentioned several names; among them the British High Commission, the Venezuelan Embassy, Feroze Khan, Banks DIH, Ansa McAl, Namilco, DeSinco, Scotia Bank, Sterling Products, Amar Ali GuyOil, Bacchus and Sons, Hacks and Sons, Rambarran, Caribbean Airlines, Lallbeharry Poultry Farm, Humphrey Bakery (for supplying all the bread the fighters need), Kings Jewellery World, Dr. Balwant Singh Hospital, Paper Craft, the Media, Bruce and Denis Vieira and Imax among others.
Khan is due to head a GABA team of officials and fighters on a visit to Port Kaituma in the near future.
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