Structures in place to foster amateur boxing development in Guyana- Ninvalle
By Avenash Ramzan
President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle, has highlighted the strong structures and detailed plan of development as the cornerstone of the sport in Guyana.
After the COVID-19 restrictions brought the sport to a halt for almost two years, Guyana was able to put together a team of 17 boxers to compete at this weekend’s Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior Boxing Championship at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The Guyanese will be joined by counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas and St. Lucia, as several Caribbean nations have struggled to put together a team for the three-day event from August 26 to 28.
Since the start of the year, the Association has been holding twice monthly Under-16 competitions, under the Pepsi/Mike Parris banner, to get a gauge of the talent on offer, and according to Ninvalle, that has helped significantly in widening the pool of boxers now available for national duties.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Georgetown, Ninvalle was quick to highlight the work that has been done to maintain momentum in the developmental process.
The fact that the Association has been able to shortlist dozens of boxers for this championship, Ninvalle asserted, was indicative of the input made by stakeholders of the sport.
“I think it says how much work we do. I think it also emphasises the structure in which we work,” Ninvalle said.
Ninvalle, who is also the country’s Director of Sport, added: “It is sad to know that you will have administrators who are just administrators, by name, not by what you do. We don’t do it like that in the Guyana Boxing Association.
“We roll up our sleeves; we make decisions not based on the administrators, but based upon how well it will benefit the boxers.”
A total of 30 boxers were shortlisted for the Championship, something that has enthused Ninvalle about the prospects for the sport.
“I don’t want to say boxing is in good hands, but good things are happening for the sport because of this nursery. Barbados cannot produce a team, Jamaica cannot produce a team, Antigua cannot produce a team, Dominica cannot produce a team.
“It says little Guyana in our own little corner, we are actually doing something.”
Just recently, the Association conducted a seminar for its Referee/Judges to bring them up to speed with the rule changes made by the International Boxing Association (IBA), the world’s governing body for the sport.
“IBA has been constantly changing its rules, so what we did was to make sure we had the top Referee/Judge in the world body to give a three-hour seminar to our Referee/Judges,” Ninvalle explained.
“We’ve had one-star Referee/Judges…within another year we’ll be having two-star Referee/Judges. So it’s a plan that we have and we’re working the plan.”
Team Guyana for the Winfield Braithwaite Caribbean Schoolboys and Junior Boxing Championship: Shawn Sabola, Matthew Thomas, Travis Sancho, Joshua Thambaran, Arlington Johnson, Jahuan Haniff, Markel Blue, Garvel Hyman, Malchi Grenidge, Tequan Sampson, Seon Graham, Shaquan James, Dwane Baptise, Eon Bancroft Jnr., Kendel DeMonic, Jerimiah Duncan and Yusdiel Gala.