IBA praises return of Ninvalle and ‘Shakes’ to leadership posts

- Kremlev optimistic of boxing development in Guyana and St. Lucia

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Umar Kremlev, president of the International Boxing Association (IBA), formally known as AIBA, has congratulated Guyanese Steve Ninvalle and David ‘Shakes’ Christopher, on their return to the helm of Amateur boxing in Guyana and St. Lucia respectively.

Both the St. Lucia and Guyana Boxing Associations held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Elections on Monday December 20, with Christopher and Ninvalle returning unopposed at the end of the voting process.

Kremlev said he remains optimistic about the future of boxing in Guyana and St. Lucia under the guidance of Ninvalle and Christopher, while adding that he is looking forward to meeting the two Caribbean presidents at the next IBA event.

The IBA’s next event is the AGM and Elections in June 2022, while the Women’s World championship will take place in Turkey.

Umar Kremlev, president of the International Boxing Association

Meanwhile, in an invited comment, Ninvalle pointed out that, “It’s not a coincidence that we had our elections on the same day. Guyana and St. Lucia work very closely and we expect, and we have schedule, and we will work towards making boxing better not just in our own two countries, but throughout the Region.”

According to Ninvalle, the GBA and St. Lucia Boxing Association had their elections results certified by the IBA.

“The IBA has a mandate that you must send the minutes of your meeting and send the return from the returning office. So, it’s not that you have an elections and that’s it; the IBA has to certify your elections. We will ensure that we both work within guidelines and the mandates set out by the IBA.”

Looking ahead, with the GBA set to announce a new National Coach, Ninvalle said the plan to host a series of events around the country, in their process to decentralise the sport.

Ninvalle highlighted that with the GBA planning to send a team to the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Championships in Ecuador in March, the hope is to host an international competition in February.

The returning GBA president was keen to point out his desire of “working closely with other Caribbean nations to help fast-track boxing. There are several Caribbean countries who would want to come here and have their fighters prepare, but we’re also working with them to have a system on how we do our preparations.”

David ‘Shakes’ Christopher

“I’m glad to say the president of the Trinidad Boxing Association (TTBA) is also very much a part of our developmental plan. Trinidad has some of the best boxers in the English-speaking Caribbean. That could’ve been seen when they won a bronze medal at the last World Championships,” Ninvalle said.

He added: “Guyana, Trinidad and St. Lucia, along with several other Caribbean countries, will be putting our heads together, in order to ensure that we have a developmental plan, that is across the board and to ensure that we do not work in a haphazard or an ad hoc way. It’s a collective approach that we’re having towards developing boxing.”

First Vice-President of the GBA, Marissa Parris, daughter of Guyana’s only Olympic medallist, Michael Parris, along with Seon Bristol (Assistant Secretary/Treasurer), are the new members of the GBA’s executive committee, while everyone else previously served alongside Ninvalle.

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 Paterson is the Treasurer.

Ninvalle, who also serves as a Vice-President of the Americas Boxing Confederation (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 G$120 million facility, when completed, will have a 20-room dormitory, kitchen area, and a state-of-the-art gym.

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