By Sean Devers
From 18:00hrs this evening the place to be is the National Gymnasium for the third annual ‘Nuff Cuff’ Caribbean School Boys and Juniors Boxing Championships.
Speaking yesterday at the Tower Suites about what promises to be an exciting weekend of pulsating fistic fury, President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle said the concept of this Championships was born in 2016 to place emphases on the Regional development of Boxing at the nursery leaving.
Ninvalle said the hosting of this Championship cost $6 Million and informed that the GBA has been only able to acquire half of that so far.
“This could not have been done with the support of corporate Guyana and National Sports Commission (NSC) who played a major role as sponsor. We also thank DDL under their Pepsi brand as the tournament sponsor and the GOA, Bounty Farm, Hand-in-Hand and Tower Suites,” said the GBA Head.
Ninvalle informed that Grenada might not be able to make the trip due to flight issues but confirmed that Trinidad & Tobago is expected to arrive at 07:00hrs today, while St Lucia arrives later in the day.
“This tournament is crucial for providing the skills and exposure for Boxers at this age. Guyana Flyweight Keevin Allicock who won a Silver Medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games last year in the Bahamas came though the U-16 Boxing programme,” disclosed Ninvalle.
Ninvalle noted that the U-16 Championships are held twice a month, while the just concluded National School Boys and Junior tournament was used to select the Guyana team for tonight’s Championships.
Guyana has won the Championships on both previous occasions but this year Guyana will be represented by its youngest team and for the first time females are included. They are Jelica Rodney (Savannah boxing gym Region 9), Alesha Jackman and Akea Lamazon.
Ninvalle said this tournament is really to look at where the Caribbean is at this point at this level of Boxing.
Also speaking at yesterday’s launching was Jamaican Coach Gilbert Vaz who informed that 17-year-old Light Welterweight Boxer Daniel Hylton could not make the trip since he is preparing for University, adding that 16-year-old Britney McFarlane who will fight in the Lightweight division, is the lone female on the four-member team.
Vaz, a former Boxer, thanked the GBA for holding this Championship and says Jamaica is in the process of taking a pattern from what is being done here.
“The Nursery of Boxing is very important in producing Olympic Champions and Professional Boxers. What I have seen here on my previous trips is the development of Boxing through a strong youth programme and that is why Guyana have the best youth Boxers in the Caribbean,” said Vaz, a National Boxing Coach who has been involved in Coaching for 10 years.
Director of Sports Christopher Jones said the NSC has given the use of the Gymnasium at no cost and in addition to providing Cash, has collaborated with the Ministry of Social Cohesion to provide Transportation and meals for the young Boxers.
He also praised NSC’s Hinterland Coach Orlan ‘Pocket Rocket’ Rogers for his work in setting up Boxing Gyms in Regions 1, 7, 8 & 9 as the NSC works to help in the development of Boxing across Guyana.
“If our Budget request is approved this year we plan to upgrade the Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis Gym in Albouystown to an International standard Gym. We have boxing gear that we are sending to the Agricola Boxing Gym,” said Jones, who was the shadow sports Minister when the PPP/C was in Government.
Jones stressed that the deadline for the Associations submitting their budget is Monday and noted that GBA is among those that has already done so.
Ticket for stands cost $500, while fans will pay $1,000 to access the VIP section.
The Guyana team:
(Junior division) 44-46kg Richard Howard (fyf), 46-48kg Leon Moore (fyf), 45-57kg Christopher Romeo (VBG), 57-60kg Mark Crawford (fyf), 60-64kg Jamal Mercer (YA), 64-69kg Emanuel Pompey (YA), 69-75kg Jevon Thomas (CBG) Schools Boys, 44-46kg Joel Anthony (HE), Enoch Monroe (HE),Deron William (VBG), 52-54kg Patrick Harvey (fyf), 54-57kg Kurt Beckles (HE)
(Novices) 60-64kg Shemar Morrison (fyf), 69-75kg Germain Williams (VBG), Female (12 -14), Alesha Jackman
Female (15-16), Jelica Rodney (Savannah boxing gym) Region 9, Female (17-18), Akea Lamazon (PRBG)
(COACHES): Sebert Blake (TD), Clifton Moore (VBG), James Walcott (HE), Joseph Murray( fyf), Floyd Grant (CBG)
The five boxers are Ashawney Lawes (boys Featherweight), Arnold Anderson (Juniors 15-16 Lightweight), Ramone Chung (Junior 15-16 Light Welterweight), Daniel Hylton (Youth 17-18 Light Welterweight), Jerome Ennis (Youth 17-18 Welterweight), while the only female on the Jamaica team is Britney McFarlane (Junior 15-16 Lightweight). The Manager is Kevin Stupart.
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