Feb 09, 2014 Sports
By Michael Benjamin
The impending four nation boxing tournament that pits the skills of local boxers against their counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and St Lucia promises to showcase the best talent in the Caribbean and officials of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) are sparing no effort to ensure that local pugilists are thoroughly prepared for the rigorous 3 days extravaganza slated for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) February 14-16 next.
The boxers have been engaged in stiff training in the National Park (05:00hrs-07:00hrs) and at the Andrew Lewis Boxing gym (16:00hrs-18:00hrs) on weekdays and at 10:00hrs at the ALBG on Sunday mornings and officials are confident that they will emerge victorious.
Towards this end, officials have organized several extra-curricular sessions for the boxers that will serve to heighten their knowledge base and further strengthen their chances of emerging victorious.
Yesterday morning, the boxers convened at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue at 10:00hrs, where one of the executive members of the Guyana Olympics Association (GOA), Dr. Karen Pilgrim, discussed the intricacies of anti-doping procedures, as required by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), shortly before she delivered inspiring words to the boxers.
The boxers were informed of the detriments of using prohibited substances even as Ms Pilgrim outlined a few of the items listed under the prohibition list. Some of these included steroids, marijuana and cocaine among others.
The GOA executive further informed the boxers of the potential embarrassment they might experience having to bare their genitals before total strangers and even being asked to perform private ablutions in the same environment. “Such prerequisites have become a necessity as officials attempt to minimize the incidences of illicit drug use,” Ms Pilgrim informed the boxers. The boxers were also allowed to examine and familiarize themselves with the testing kit.
Subsequently, Dr Pilgrim engaged the boxers in discussion on several inspiring and pertinent topics including the intricacies of physical and mental aspects of preparation and techniques on how to positively psyche oneself into a positive mood before combat among others.
Shortly after wrapping up sessions, the GOA executive said that she was heartened by the positive responses of the boxers. She said that she had conducted similar sessions with other groups but found the boxers to be the most receptive and interactive of them all. She said that the pugilists demonstrated a clear understanding of the concepts shared as well as the rules of the sport.
She closed the session by encouraging the boxers to be confident even amidst the many misconceptions and stereotypes that unfairly and adversely label boxers. “They have defied those misconceptions and fully understand their respective roles,” concluded Dr Pilgrim of the boxers.
Media operatives were kept busy as shortly after the sessions with Dr Pilgrim culminated, they were summoned to Olympic House, High Street Kingston where GOA President K A Juman Yassin and Mr. Ninvalle hosted a press conference to update the public on the progress of the arrangements for the impending tournament.
Mr. Yassin noted that the Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) has been defunct for some time now and he extended the hope that the impending championships would serve as the catalyst for renewed efforts to reinstate the entity and by extension, continue with the developmental process. He also appealed for corporate assistance towards the success of the tournament.
Mr. Ninvalle echoed the pleas of the GOA President, while pointing out that local pugilists now have the perfect opportunity to exhibit their wares and endorse the long standing belief that they are the best in the region.
The GBA President also revealed that accomplished AIBA official, James Beckles, will be among the overseas contingent and he will be conducting a refresher course for local referees and judges. He said that the AIBA official will focus heavily on the computer scoring system to ensure that the officials have a clear understanding of its use. That system will be used for the first time during the impending tournament.
The overseas contingent arrives in Guyana next week Friday and the tournament gets underway one day later.
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