Last Tuesday afternoon, a team of enthusiastic boxers departed these shores to compete for honours in the 2016 edition of the Caribbean Development Boxing Tournament in Bridgetown, Barbados.
After five days of hectic competition, the pugilists returned to these shores yesterday afternoon as undisputed champions of the Caribbean, laden down with 11 medals 10 gold and one silver after dominating their opponents from 14 other territorial countries.
The lads touched down at the Eugene Correia International Airport, Ogle, at around 15:00hrs yesterday afternoon and were greeted by a high level team of Government officials led by Junior Minister with responsibility for sports, Nicolette Henry and Director of Youth and Sports, Christopher Jones. Delegates of the welcoming party also included President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle and his equal of the Guyana Olympic Association, K A Juman Yassin.
Several boxing affiliates as well as members of the media corps were also there to welcome the sports ambassadors.
Minister Henry lauded the achievements of the boxers and reminded them that Government is committed to their development and has their interests at heart. She said that proof of this could be seen in the budget allocation where the monies allocated for sports development has been doubled from last year’s estimates. “You are our ambassadors and may I remind you that you are not second class citizens,” she assured the boxers. “Thank you very much for keeping the Golden Arrowhead aloft and for making every Guyanese proud,” concluded the Minister.
Mr. Ninvalle noted the quality of the achievement while emphasizing that every boxer on tour came away with a lucrative medal. Flyweight, Kevin Allicock, was the only silver medalist after surrendering his bout to Barbadian, Jabal Breedy.
The GBA President reminisced on the tough road where his executives engaged in a 100 miles walk to raise the requisite funds to facilitate the participation of a full team. “It was a long and arduous walk but we prevailed and the reward of winning so many lucrative medals is compensative enough,” Ninvalle exhorted. He beseeched the continued help of the corporate community to support his executives in nurturing the boxers to international accomplishments.
Mr. Yassin was extremely delighted with the boxers’ achievements and expressed those sentiments. “I was on the verge of losing confidence in our boxers but this performance has rekindled my confidence in their ability,” exhorted the GOA boss. He also noted the efforts of coaches, Sebert Blake, Clifton Moore and Adrian Thomas, while pointing out that his organization has been instrumental in offsetting Blake’s trip to Hungary, in 2013, where he acquired a diploma in coaching. “Providing you continue to be successful you can always count on assistance from the GOA irrespective of whether I am at the helm,” Yassin assured the boxers.
Lightweight (youth) boxer, Christopher Moore, was the most outstanding boxer and won the Best Boxer award. He commenced his trek with a win against Alex Smith of Cayman Island by a 3rd round stoppage. He returned on the second night and again forced the referee to call a halt to a fight against Miguel Diaz (Anguilla), this time in the first stanza before closing off his sojourn with a points victory over Grenadian, Nelson Cyrus.
The other boxers comprising the team are welterweight (youth), Akeem Mounter, flyweight (youth), Keevin Allicock and lightweight (youth) Christopher Moore. Isaiah Moore (46kgs) was the lone junior boxer on the team. The elite boxers are, super/heavyweight Jason Barker, middleweight, Desmond Amsterdam, jnr/welterweight, Colin Lewis, lightweight, Joel Williamson, light/heavyweight, Julian Kesney, bantamweight, Clairmonte Gibson and flyweight, Kevin Allicock. The three coaches are Sebert Blake, who was appointed as the head coach, Adrian Thomas and Clifton Moore while Vice President of the GBA, Maurice Rajkumar, managed the team.
The participating countries were Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Jamaica, Anguilla, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St Maarten, Belize, French Guiana, Cayman Island, US Virgin Islands, Martinique and Grenada. Trinidad and Tobago had opted out without offering a reason. Members of the corporate community that unselfishly contributed to the team’s participation were Investments, Mohamed Cambio, Nicholas Boyer (National Hardware), Dolly Sukhdeo, Harvey’s Fashions, Z Mohamed and Sons Trading, Swiss House Cambio, BEV Enterprise, Permaul Mangal, LIAT Airline, Host of Maximum Sports, Max Massiah, former professional boxer/journalist Michael Benjamin, Director of Tang Soo Do International, Kyosanim Roland Eudoxie and former World Champion, Gary St. Clair.
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