President of the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Association, Cecil Ford, is concerned that Guyana may not be able to send a team to the Caribbean Boxing Championship. Forde claimed that the absence of or downsizing of Guyanas team may have a negative impact on the event scheduled for December 4-9 in the Twin Island Republic.
“We are concerned about the possibility of Guyana who are the defending champions may not be able to send a team or full team. Anyone who knows boxing in the Caribbean know what Guyana brings to the table. The quality of the tournament can be impacted negatively if Guyana is not here,” Forde, the Vice Chairman of the Caribbean Steering Committee said yesterday.
The TTBA president was reacting to reports that the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association is ambivalent about attending the Championship as it awaiting governments support in order to send a 24 member team. GABA president Steve Ninvalle has stated that the Guyana teams participation is in limbo due to a lack of response to a request for funding from Guyana Government.
Ninvalle explained that the defending Champions will most likely lose their coveted title if a depleted team is sent to Trinidad.
“At this time we can only turn to the Government for such support as our usually reliable option the Guyana Olympic Association has already committed three million dollars to assist in preparing a team for the Olympic Qualifiers,” Ninvalle said.
The cost for airfare and accommodation and meals for one person is approximately US$950.
The GABA president explained that the association wrote the National Sports Commission (NSC) on October 21 and that repeated calls and text messages to the Director of Sport Christopher Jones have gone unanswered since.
”I hope to hear soon from the NSC as soon as possible as airfare prices increase with each passing day,” a frustrated Ninvalle added.
According to Ford, Trinidad and Guyana share an excellent relationship and it has grown since Ninvalle took over the helm. “We are hoping that all things work out and a full team can represent Guyana. We need that not only at the level of the Organising Committee of the Caribbean Championship but the entire Caribbean,” Ford, a veteran regional administrator added.
The Guyana team is being spearheaded by Caribbean champions middleweight Desmond Amsterdam and bantamweight Keevin Allicock. It also includes promising young females Abiola and Alesha Jackman.
Guyana won the Caribbean title in 2016 after Ninvalle walked 100 miles in two days to raise funds to send the team after the government and the Guyana Olympic Association failed to provide support. The 11-man team returned home with 10 gold and one silver medal. The following year Guyana lost the crown when lack of support forced the GBA to send a team of four to St. Lucia. That team won three gold and one silver medal.
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