Record-breaking boxing team greeted by renowned contingent
Guyana recorded safely their most successful outing in a regional boxing competition when they returned from Barbados to a hospitable welcome by renowned members of the sport fraternity on Monday afternoon.
The team bagged a total of 10 gold medals and one silver at the Caribbean Development Boxing Tournament over the weekend and were greeted with open arms of Minister within the Ministry of Education with Responsibility for Sport, Nicolette Henry, Director of Sport Christopher Jones, Guyana Olympic Association President (GOA), K. A. Juman Yassin and President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle at the Eugene F. Corriea international Airport.
Speaking at the welcoming, Minister Henry spoke lightly on the commitment the current administration has shown towards the development of sports, citing that the administration has “doubled their budget allocation for sports.”
She went on to say that the administration is delighted to have athletes excelling and becoming great and they should not be treated as “second class” while providing “equal opportunity” for them to make “Guyana proud.”
Also, the GOA president shared the same sentiment, adding the fact that in previous years, athletes used to have a full time employment saying, “I remember $25,000 a month pay to an athlete years ago and I would like to make it a full time job.”
He further added that he is delighted to see we “got a big budget for sports” and with the assistance of the Director of Sport and the Ministry we can make the boxers professionals.
Chief Coach for the trip Sebert Blake expounded on the trip’s importance of setting the athletes sights on attaining better performances by giving them the exposure needed.
The coach of the Forgotten Youths Foundation Boxing Gym noted that it is with his years of coaching that he sees a lot of talent in this bunch and predicted new heights for them as they enter the 2017 season of boxing.
Blake was assisted by coaches Adrian Thomas and Clifton Moore.
Director of Sport also shared the views of Minister Henry and mentioned that boxing will have the full support of the National Sports Commission.
Ninvalle said that this was the best Christmas gift he has ever gotten and has an eye on the 2020 Olympics where he feels that through hard work and dedication Guyana can medal once more. It was a particularly special moment for everyone involved having walked 100 miles to raise funds to go on the tournament.
The boxers to return with gold include elite boxers, Super/Heavyweight Jason Barker, Light/Heavyweight, Markember Pierre, Bantamweight Clairmonte Gibson and Akiel Mounter. Also Middleweight powerhouse Desmond Amsterdam, Flyweight (youth), Keevin Allicock, Isaiah Moore, Kevin Allicock, Lightweight (youth) boxer Christopher Moore and Light/Welterweight, Colin Lewis were amongst the gold while Flyweight Kevin Allicock won the lone silver medal.
Christopher Moore was also adjudged best boxer.