T&T boxer, 13, who copped silver in Guyana now homeless

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Trinidad and Tobago national junior boxer Shirley Wolfe and her family are now homeless.

Wolfe, 13, brought home silver for T&T in August 2019 from the Caribbean School Girls and Boys Junior Boxing Tournament in Guyana.

She has lived with her parents and siblings, two-year-old Austin and four-year-old Diamond, on state land along the Southern Main Road in Claxton Bay for the last ten years.

But on October 28, her father, Christopher Wolfe, received notice from the Commissioner of State Lands that the family must vacate the land immediately, because they have been occupying it illegally.

Wolfe now fears his family will soon end up living on the streets. He is asking the Housing Development Corporation for a house for his family so his daughter can have a future in boxing.

“We are very poor; this is no secret. I know we have been living on state land, but I have been trying to do better, I really have been. I have been doing odd jobs around to help provide for my family.

“But I have been struggling to make ends meet to provide for my family and support my daughter, who is passionate about boxing. She is an exceptional boxer and deserves a chance.”

The shack along the Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay, from which the Wolfe family is now facing eviction (Newsday photo by Lincoln Holder)

He said Shirley has been training for the last four years and is now one of the best boxers in T&T.

Wolfe said he did not have anywhere else to go, so he built a wood and galvanise structure ten years ago on an empty piece of state land.

“Now that we have been given the notice to leave immediately. I have nowhere to go. I am begging the HDC to help me find a shelter so my daughter can have a chance to succeed.”

“Many people don’t even know how we live. But Shirley has been training here in our little galvanised shack and then going to compete in big boxing competitions and winning.

“I know we have to leave, but I just don’t want to end up on the streets.

“All I am asking for is a shelter for my family and for my daughter to get a chance to continue representing TT, which she has been doing.”

In November 2019 Shirley competed in the TT Boxing Association National Championship at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo, and won. She has also competed in other boxing competitions and tournaments and won other medals.

Wolfe said he also sought help from the MP for the area. But his efforts have been futile.

“I keep getting the runaround. It seems like they cannot do anything to help us. I don’t know how long again we have before they come and break down our house.”

President of the TT Boxing Association Cecil Forde described Shirley as a talented boxer who has a bright future. He said the teen is passionate and has a natural talent for boxing.

While the law must be respected, he said, it is also heartbreaking to see what one of his boxers is enduring.

Forde said Shirley lives in an impoverished community and urgently needs shelter and all the assistance she can get.

The association has tried to help the family but there is only so much it can do, he said, and he hopes those in authority will assist.

Anyone wishing to help can contact Forde at 736-4715. (Newsday)

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