By Sean Devers in Trinidad
The much anticipated Caribbean Boxing Championships is set for December 4-9 at the Pleasantville Sports Complex in South Trinidad and Guyana is the defending Champions.
Guyana is regarded as the powerhouse of the English Caribbean in Amateur Boxing and their strong 24-member team includes current, Guyana and Caribbean Elite champions in Middleweight Desmond Amsterdam and Bantamweight Keevin Allicock, recently back from the Pam Am Games in Peru.
However, as has been the case with most sports in Guyana, Government funding for overseas participation by teams representing the Golden Arrow Head at Regional or International Events remains a bug bear.
President of the Guyana Boxing Association’s (GBA) Steve Ninvalle yesterday provided a latest update on the Association’s request for funding from Director of Sports Christopher Jones and the level of sponsorship received from the Business sector to send the National Boxing team to Trinidad to defend their title.
“Sponsorship is slow and trickling in. I have not been able to make contact with the Director of Sports and after an extended period I called the Minister responsible for Sports and he has promised to look into the status of our request for funding,” Ninvalle informed.
The GBA’s head disclosed that the boxers selected are in training but uncertainty will affect anyone in a negative way.
“We (GBA) are still trying to see what we can do and have engaged Corporate Guyana.
The team, all being equal, should leave on the morning of December 4,” Ninvalle added.
“It will cost approximately US$950 for each person to travel and be accommodated in Trinidad so we are waiting on word from the Minister (Dr George Norton) since he has promised to look into the matter and I have every confidence he will and come up with something favourable we can work with,” stated Ninvalle.
Ninvalle said that dealing with Minister Norton over the years has convinced him the Minister is a man of more action and less talk.
“We cannot over emphasise the importance of this Championships and us defending our title,” concluded Ninvalle.
According to Boxing officials here, they are waiting and hoping that Caribbean Defending Champions Guyana are able to participate, since they will have adequate competition for fans in Trinidad & Tobago to witness keen rivalry in the Ring.
President of TTBA and Vice-Chairman of the Caribbean Steering Committee, Cecil Ford said, if Guyana sends a depleted team it will have a negative effect on the Event.
Guyana, host T&T and Jamaica are the top Boxing Nations in the English speaking Caribbean and four nights of fistic fury is anticipated.
But this depends on the support of a Government (past & present with exception of the Forbes Burnham Government) which gives the impression that Sports is not important.
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