The Caribbean has heaped praise on the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) and its president Steve Ninvalle for organizing and successfully hosting the recently concluded Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior tournament.
The August 16-18 tournament was hailed as the most important in CARICOM and the GBA came in for special applause from several regional presidents.
Guyana captured eight gold and three silver medals to end on 30 points and retained the coveted Champion Country title, which they held since the commencement of the event in 2016.
Johnson St. Louis, the Grenada Boxing Association president, said that the creation and hosting of the Schoolboys competition is a clear indication that the Caribbean has realized the consequences they are to face if it ignores its nursery.
“As the president of the Grenada Boxing Association I wish to extend sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Ninvalle and the Guyana Boxing Association for hosting that event which I believe is critical to the development of the sport here. We are also grateful for the kind gesture of some very special boxing gear being donated to our boxing delegation,” St Louis stated.
President of the St Lucia Boxing Association, David `Shakes’ Christopher, opined that the importance of the Schoolboys tournament cannot be overstated.
“Job well done Mr. Ninvalle. To successfully host this four years in a row is no easy feat. This competition is critical for the development of boxing in our region. We never had anything of its kind before and it was through Mr. Ninvalle’s vision that it was created. It is my belief that it (the tournament) is the important in the Caribbean and my hope is that the GBA is provided the resources to keep it alive,” Christopher said.
“I was in conversation in Lima, Peru with the Minister of Sport Dr. George Norton and president of the Guyana Olympic Association K. Juman Yassin. I pleaded with them to Support Mr. Ninvalle as he is not only doing a fantastic job for boxing in Guyana but also in the Caribbean. He is the leader of the Caribbean and Guyana needs to support him in any way possible. We in the Caribbean can boast that we have seen levels of development since Mr. Ninvalle has been around,” Christopher added.
“I would also like to applaud Mr. Ninvalle’s initiative to provide every participating country with a set of boxing gear. That I consider the true meaning of Caribbean unity spirit.”
Cecil Forde, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Association agreed. “The TTBA congratulates Mr. Ninvalle and the Guyana Boxing Association for hosting another successful Caribbean Schoolboys tournament. We view this tournament as the most important for the development of the sport in the region and will continue to give our support,” the TTBA president added.
President of the Barbados Boxing Association Richard Atwell declared that from reports he received it was a well-run event. “Congrats to Steve Ninvalle and the Guyana Boxing Association. The report is that it was a well-run tournament,” said Atwell.
In congratulating the GBA president of the St Maarten Boxing Association, Shawn Blair, noted that he is personally cognizant of the difficulties associated with hosting such events. “St Maarten has just had an international tournament and as the man at the helm, I can personally tell of the sleepless nights and the days that seem to run for more than 24 hours. For Guyana to host this four consecutive years speaks volumes about its ability to organize. The reports received speak of high- level of organization. I believe that this Schoolboys tournament has switched on the light on our future and it looks bright. Well done Guyana.”
Guyana hosted the first Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior in 2016. This year the tournament was renamed Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior after Guyana’s 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medalist.
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