‘Perform or leave’- Guyana Boxing Association head puts executives on notice

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By Avenash Ramzan

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‘Perform or leave.’

That’s the forthright message from President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, following his re-election to the post on Monday.

Ninvalle, who was unopposed, urged his executives to work in the best interest of the sport, noting that anyone who is found wanting would be asked to leave.

The former Sport Journalist, who is now the country’s Director of Sport, said those voted in to serve must be “focused and dedicated to the task at hand.”

Guyana Boxing Association President Steve Ninvalle (News Room photo/October 21, 2021)

“It is important that if we’re elected as officials to govern and develop boxing, that is what we do. Anyone who is found not putting their shoulder to the wheel, we will of course ask them to leave- it is as plain as that,” Ninvalle declared.

“If we’re elected to do justice and support boxing then that is what we will have to do.”

On the new executive, which was elected on Monday at the Annual General Meeting, are First Vice-President Dr. Marissa Parris, daughter of Guyana’s only Olympic medallist, Michael Parris, along with Seon Bristol (Assistant Secretary/Treasurer), both newcomers.

Major Gordon Nedd is the Second Vice-President, while Carl Graham is the Third Vice-President. Stacy Correia is the Association’s Secretary and Dexter Patterson is the Treasurer.

Competitive boxing is set to make a return in 2022

Return of competitions in 2022

Based on plans outlined by Ninvalle, the executives would have to hit the ground running in early 2022, as the Association looks to host its first competition in almost two years.

The programme of the GBA had been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with local boxers restricted to personalised training and literally no local competition since the virus was first detected in Guyana in March 2020.

The first local competition is earmarked for February, as Guyana would be preparing to participate in the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Championship in 2022.

“We also will be having- and this is based on COVID- the return of the Caribbean School Boys and Juniors tournament and the return of the Pepsi/Mike Parris Under-16 programme,” Ninvalle highlighted.

An artist impression the proposed GBA ‘Home of Boxing’

Home for Boxing

Ninvalle, who also serves as a Vice-President of AMBC, highlighted that seeing the realisation of the proposed ‘Home for Boxing’ is top priority on the GBA’s agenda.

According to the returning GBA president, while a location is still being deliberated, a timeline of three years is given for the completion of the first-of-a-kind in the English-speaking Caribbean.

The approximately $120 million facility, when completed, will have a 20-room dormitory, kitchen area, and a state-of-the-art gym.

In the meantime, the GBA recently started the resuscitation of the Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis Boxing Gym in Albouystown, which Ninvalle said is being done by the National Sports Commission (NSC) and ‘friends’ of boxing.

Several gyms across the country are also earmarked for infrastructural development in 2022.

“We also intend on fostering a stronger relationship with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, and the GOA, because without their support, we would not have been able to accomplish all the things we did, so that will be a priority,” Ninvalle related.

He further added, “We will look to provide more opportunities and refresher courses for referees and judges. At this point, we are schedule to have one referee/judge and an ITO at the AMBC Championships next year.”

A new national coach will also be announced, according to Ninvalle, and a new plan for development will be formalise.

Ninvalle thanked the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. for his support since coming into office last year and noted that the GBA is looking forward to their continued relationship in working together to grow and develop the sport of boxing in Guyana.

President of the Guyana Olympic Association, K.A. Juman-Yassin also came in for some praises from Ninvalle, for supporting all the GBA’s initiatives.

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