NSC, GOA confirm monetary support for Olympic Qualifier-bound boxers

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The National Sports Commission (NSC) on Thursday morning presented G$2.5 million to assist the country’s boxers to travel to Argentina to participate in the Olympic Qualifier in late March.

According to president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) has also delivered on its promise of support, albeit “at the eleventh hour.”

Both entities had combined to send a team of four boxers to a three-month preparatory camp in Cuba leading up to the qualifiers, and now a contingent of eight will head off to Argentina for the qualifiers from March 26 to April 3.

The GBA faced a tricky situation as it had missed the February 24 deadline to pay for accommodation and meals for the qualifiers, but now that the budget has been covered, Ninvalle believes everything will fall into place.

“I think sometimes people look out for Guyana, knowing that we sometimes usually go pass deadlines. I think that everything will be okay because the deadline was not passed by any considerable time,” Ninvalle explained.

WHAT THEY SAID

At a press briefing at the NSC office on Homestretch Avenue on Thursday morning, Ninvalle and Director of Sport Christopher Jones spoke of the strengthening of a partnership between the two entities- the GBA and the NSC.

Christopher Jones: “The National Sports Commission, after consultation with the Board members, we had to do what was necessary to ensure that our boxers stay focused and not have them be distracted in whether or not they would be able to participate in the Olympic Qualifiers. The total cost for them to be accommodated in Argentina is some US$12,000, which roughly translates to about G$2.5 million. The Board members have agreed and the National Sports Commissioned has endorsed and today we will be making a contribution to the Boxing Association to the tune of G$2.5 million. Based on the work we’ve seen the Boxing Association been doing over the years we are confident that our boxers will make it to the Olympics.”

Steve Ninvalle: “Let me thank Mr. Jones, the National Sports Commission and by extension the Government of Guyana for seeing it fit to come in at what I would want to say ‘at the eleventh hour’, but nevertheless they have. I would venture to say that while we would express hearty thanks, it is my hope that in the future we can have such issues dealt with well before time, because it places a stress on the athletes, of course it places a stress on the association, but the main players in this are the athletes. I would hope that what I would want to term in certain instances ‘created emergencies’ that this can be worked out long before time. As of yesterday (February 26), the Olympic Association would have made a pledge as it relates to accommodation and meals, but then we still have the airline tickets to deal with, which is approximately US$1,800 per person. With this Mr. Christopher Jones, some of this that you have pledged will have to go towards that.”

Guyana will be represented by boxers Colin Lewis, Desmond Amsterdam, Keevin Allicock, Dennis Thomas and Canada-based Taveena Kum. The coaches are Terrence Poole, Sebert Blake and Francisco Roldan.

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