GOA, GBA join forces to get boxers ready for Junior Pan Am Games

- GOA commits G$100,000 to each boxer; trio to indulge in exclusive local training

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By Avenash Ramzan

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The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) have joined forces to get the country’s boxers ready for the Junior Pan American Games later this year.

The collaboration will see the boxers remaining in Guyana during the preparatory period, which would allow them to work with a cadre of local coaches.

Additionally, the Olympic Association has committed a financial sum to each of the three boxers.

From left: Alesha Jackman, Patrick Harvey and Travis Inverary

The inaugural Junior Pan American Games will be held in Cali, Colombia, from November 25 to December 5 with youth boxers Alesha Jackman, Patrick Harvey and Travis Inverary set to represent Guyana.

The trio will form part of Guyana’s contingent at the Games, which is an international multi-sport event for athletes aged 17 to 22 in the Americas, organised by Panam Sports.

At a press conference hosted by GBA President Steve Ninvalle and GOA head K.A. Juman-Yassin in Georgetown on Thursday, it was announced the boxers will train exclusively in Guyana in the lead-up to the Games.

GOA President K.A. Juman-Yassin (News Room photo/October 21, 2021)

What they said

Juman-Yassin: “I had spoken to Steve a few weeks ago as regards preparation and the thinking then was the boxers should go abroad to train. I indicated to Steve ‘let’s think about it, let’s think of our boxers training in Guyana.’

We have the facilities. We have the coaches. We’ve got the experience here.

Steve indicated that he will consider this and he came back and indicated that the consensus was that the boxers will remain in Guyana and train. I’m happy about that, because we have a very rich history of boxing in Guyana.

When you think of the heyday many years ago when Guyana’s senior boxers were on top, that time they were generally being trained and coached in Guyana, albeit there was a coach from Cuba.

Our boxing coaches have all gone abroad, they have done courses successfully and they are graded, so I’m happy we’re now embarking on a programme in which we should be able to coach our junior athletes.

I just wish to say that each of the three boxers will be given G$100,000 so that they could outfit themselves, and the preparation and other aspects would be worked out between the GBA and the Guyana Olympic Association.

One of the important elements for young boxers is their nutrition. We want to ensure that they eat well, so they have that extra in them.”

GBA President Steve Ninvalle (News Room photo/October 21, 2021)

Ninvalle: “What we have done is reach out to Trinidad and Tobago and they’re happy to be part of the training programme that we will be having; we’re also speaking to Barbados to see if they would want to join our camp.

We of course have coaches that have the highest grading in AIBA (International Boxing Association) and we plan to exploit that.

As Mr. Yassin said, the need for a nutritionist, we will make sure the boxers are afforded nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists and every single thing that is needed to make sure that it is a well prepared team.

I would honestly want to extend gratitude to the executive of the Guyana Olympic Association and Mr. Juman-Yassin. The G$100,000 is not what the GOA will be giving for the training programme; this is for each boxer that is going.

It’s a very good gesture that each and every athlete can look forward to these things, which would more or less cushion some of the effects, some of the frustrations and some of the hardships that they will have.

I can’t remember this ever happening with a junior team. It also says that boxing is on a new footing, we’re going different places. As you know at the World Championship there is finance to be made from fighting in competition.”

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