Apr 21, 2013 Sports Comments Off on Amateur boxers to receive monthly stipend as GOA/GBA sign historic deal
After years of plying their trade devoid of requisite funds to offset the astronomical financial requirements, several local amateur pugilists will be receive valuable relief following an initiative undertaken by officials of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) to contribute a monthly stipend towards the boxers’ livelihood. The first phase of the programme commences on May 1 next and will end around July 31, 2014.
The programme is set to continue until the 2016 Brazil Olympics as reviews would be done to sort out any hiccups. The highly significant gesture will see each fighter collecting initially $25,000 in cash along with hampers. Bakewell has already committed to providing hampers of their products. This initial phase will see the boxers collecting about $300,000 per year in cash along with kind, as the GOA expends in the vicinity of $5.4M for the duration of the programme.
President of the GOA, Mr. K A Juman Yassin, hosted a press conference at Olympic House, High Street Kingston yesterday morning to roll out the details pertaining to the initiative and the required conduct of the selectees. He was joined by other GOA officials including Hector Edwards and Ivor O’Brian. President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle was also at the function as were GBA Tournament Organizer, Terrence Poole and Cuban Coach, Francisco Roldon Hernandez.
Those boxers that have been selected for the first phase of the programme include Imran Khan (bantamweight), Theresa London and Dennis Thomas (middleweights), Stephon Gouveia (lightweight) and welterweights Eon Bancroft and Ron Smith.
Mr. Yassin admitted that the stipend is but a fraction of what is truly required to offset the boxers’ monthly expenses but said that he will approach members of the corporate community and request their input in making the package more substantial. He voiced the hope that the business community may contribute food hampers among other necessities towards the initiative.
The GOA boss further explained that the conditions under which the boxers will operate has been well thought out. However, he did not rule out that those statutes may be subjected to future examination with the possibility of enacting changes. “As we progress we may see the need for clarifications, inclusions or moderations,” said Mr. Yassin. He said that he is optimistic that the support will impact positively on the boxers’ lives.
Mr. Ninvalle viewed the initiative as significant and an important step in the right direction towards the development of the boxers. He said that his executives have been beseeching the relevant authorities for support of this nature and following the passing of the budget he anticipates a viable input from the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports. Mr. Ninvalle reminded that his entity is the only one to have submitted a document of their intended itinerary for the next few years and is awaiting word from the Sports Minister pertaining to assistance.
Meanwhile, the boxers have been furnished with the relevant contracts spelling out the criteria for inclusion into the initiative. “This Protocol is to regulate the performance and or behaviour and or conduct of boxers under the auspices and or control of the Guyana Boxing Association in respect to the receipt of any stipend payable by the Guyana Olympic Association,” the document informs.
Consequently, the pugilists were advised to seek counsel on the document before affixing their signatures. Should they find the document unsuitable they may decline but will not be considered for inclusion.
This is indeed a very noteworthy move by the GOA and paves the way for the young fighters to excel. With a tangible contribution from government anticipated and once the business community follows the lead of Bakewell, this initiative can see the boxers being adequately supported, allowing them the opportunity to focus on being ready to successfully challenge the level of competition envisaged at the Olympics to secure medals for Guyana.
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