Jan 29, 2014 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
If President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle gets his way, local amateur referees and judges would soon receive a reasonable stipend for their services rendered to the sport. This was a part of the projection mooted by Mr. Ninvalle in an interview with Kaieteur Sport at his Main Street office yesterday afternoon.
He said that the local officials had recently formed a referees/judges commission and are scheduled to meet with GBA executives this afternoon to discuss issues and strategies relating to their development and operations. This will also include the possibility of stipend for their services.
“Referees and judges are very important in the scheme of things and we must find ways of rewarding them for their time and effort,” said Mr. Ninvalle. This issue would also form a part of the discussions this afternoon and the GBA President said that it will be thoroughly ventilated though his organization is somewhat cash strapped.
Mr. Ninvalle reflected on the performance of his executives over the past year and decided a ‘C’ grade would be concomitant with their performance. He said that amidst all of the challenges and limited resources, his executives had performed credibly and the returns from the boxers, even though appearing to be insignificant, would eventually be seen in the long term.
The GBA President further pointed out that one of the challenges faced by his administration was the issue of encampment of the boxers preparing for international engagements. He said that it is very important to have the pugilists encamped so that the national coaches could assess their progress. However, the cost of such exercises is very prohibitive and his executives would be examining ways of grappling this challenge.
The GBA will commence the fiscal year on a high note with the Tri-Nation tournament which will be contested between February 14-16 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) and Mr. Ninvalle believes that the tournament could be the catalyst to the return of staunch support from both the corporate community as well as spectators.
He said that he will aspire to make the Caribbean tournament a yearly feature even as he works feverishly to have a resuscitation of the Cuba exchange programmes. To this effect, the GBA boss said that he has drafted a correspondence which will be dispatched to the Cuban authorities with an aim of realizing those goals.
“Our boxers have done quite well during the era of those exchange programmes and I believe that the resuscitation may very well improve their fortunes on the international scene,” posits Ninvalle.
Former amateur boxer, Terrence Poole, has been the lynchpin of the association so much so that he has been accused of engaging in matters that are somewhat conflicting. Mr. Ninvalle agrees that Mr. Poole has been tasked with varying responsibilities and some sections of the society have dubbed them as conflicting. However, the GBA President defended his colleague saying that Mr. Poole is an asset to the administration of the sport.
He said that many persons seek executive positions on the committee but are reluctant and/or lax in addressing their mandates. “The volume of the work rests on just few shoulders so it is just natural to hear utterances of conflict of interest,” Mr. Ninvalle pointed out.
He said that he had toyed with many developmental ideas but is constrained by statutes in the constitution that dictate issues are addressed through a voting process. Notwithstanding, Mr. Ninvalle said that he cannot support an en bloc voting module since to his mind such a system could be deemed counter-productive since a wide cross section of views would be muzzled.
“To my mind, such an eventuality would compromise the democratic process; I think that conflict and diversity is good for development provided it is done in a structured way,” he said.
That apart, Mr. Ninvalle believes that the time is ripe for constitutional reforms in keeping with the new dispensation when the ruling body, AIBA, is contemplating strategic changes to their rules. The ruling organization plans to launch their own league of professional boxers who will be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
While these issues are pertinent and while some of them will take centre stage at this afternoon’s forum, Mr. Ninvalle said that much attention will be placed on issues relating to the imminent Tri Nation championships which he refers to as the catalyst to the effective return of mass support to the boxing arena.
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