By Akeem Greene
Guyana stands to possibly become the mecca of Amateur Boxing in the Caribbean since Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) President Steve Ninvalle is making a pitch for an Academy to be established on these shores.
“I will be pushing for a boxing academy to be created in Guyana, the reason is that the Caribbean counties have been clamouring since two years ago to come here and train their fighters,” Ninvalle told Guyana Times Sport on Wednesday.
Given Guyana’s dominance in regional amateur tournaments after having a strong breeding ground for competent fighters, the country has essentially become an understudy regarding their recipe for successful pugilist.
“We have the space and are leaders in terms of being champions of the Caribbean. It is only right that we have something like that here. I intend to write the leader of AIBA to address this issue. Next year is AIBA year of the Caribbean, so if we can have something like that starting in Guyana or any part of the Caribbean, it will be good for us,” the GBA boss further stated.
The discipline is the only one to have secured an Olympic medal for Guyana and in January, they were the first association to submit their four-year plan to the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) as they seek to have their boxers properly prepared to secure a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games set for Japan. The plan charts the course that would lead to a strategic development of the sport and the addition of another Olympic medal.
Commenting on the progress made to date, Ninvalle expressed gratitude for the support from both from the GOA and the National Sports Commission but contended there is more to be done. Regarding what has been done, he alluded to the support of one bright prospect, Keevin Allicock being the recipient of a monthly stipend from the GOA which is expected to continuously increase based on the performance of the Commonwealth Youth Games Silver medallist.
This Saturday, Ninvalle will host the International Boxing Association (AIBA) meeting of the Caribbean, at the Resource Centre in Georgetown from 10:00h. The focus of the meeting is to discuss a wide range of pressing matters concerning the community and ways of finding solutions.
“There is the annual Caribbean championship which will be held in St Lucia and we need discuss how we move forward from here. This meeting is about our concerns and what is hurting the Caribbean, we will have frank and fruitful discussions and at the end of it we will hope we can pave a way forward.”
He added, “We [the Caribbean region] has been neglected for some time and we need to decide how to go forward.” Representatives from Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, St Marteen, St Lucia, Suriname, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago along with American Boxing Federation (AMBC) President Osvaldo Rafael Bisbal and AIBA Executive Director William Louis-Marie are expected to be in attendance.
Turmoil in AIBA
AIBA Taiwanese president Ching-kuo Wu has been provisionally suspended by a disciplinary commission, the Olympic sport’s governing body said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Switzerland-based organisation has been riven with in-fighting for months, with Wu pitted against most of the executive committee who failed to remove him through a vote of no-confidence tabled in July.
The Interim Management Committee (IMC), which was established in July following the no confidence vote, has been seeking to remove the Taiwanese official from power amid allegations of financial mismanagement under his administration.
Commenting on the issues of the governing body, he stated, “We got issues to discuss as a body. It is more important judging the turmoil AIBA is going through. We think that it is important that we meet and we decided which side of the fence we are on. We will take what is right for the Caribbean. We have had due process all along. We have been badgered, we have been pushed to choose a side and we have not done that”.
A recent elected member to Executive Committee Bureau, Ninvalle knows the magnitude of the appointment given that the five-member committee comes out of 202 member associations. He plans to use the position to allow the cries of the Caribbean associations to be heard at the executive level.