At the time the gift of the ring was received the National Olympic Committee (NOC) was celebrating its 10th anniversary of membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO), the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO).
The NOC was therefore well positioned to assist the boxing fraternity here to access technical courses for the development of the discipline.
The NOC has permitted the SVGABA to access a number of technical courses over the past several years which has seen the qualification of personnel as athletes, coaches, judges and administrators of the sport.
Several Vincentians have been able to participate in competitions across the region in each of the foregoing capacities.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines today there are several persons who have qualified to serve this country in the aforementioned categories, however, not all of them have remained faithful to the organisation or to their training.
As is the case with so many of the other affiliates of the NOC, the personnel who have been trained have not always given back to the organisation or to the affiliate for whom the training was initially intended.
The Boxing fraternity here will nonetheless benefit from another opportunity afforded them by the NOC for the training of personnel to carry on the various aspects of the sport in 2007. One can only hope that this time around more of those trained will stay with the sport and facilitate its genuine growth and development.
The SVGABA is not at all short on opportunities for the athletes to participate in competitions. At the level of the OECS this country gave good account of itself when, under the leadership of Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira, the OECS Sports Desk ensured an annual competition to showcase the best in the sub region.
Vincentians may recall that Hudson Nanton ruled the roost among the heavyweights. At one time he won without even getting into the ring since the category was without competition for him.
Carver Gumbs, now the leading coach in the state, was also a regular member of the national representative as also was the case with Telesford who later turned to coaching as well but who has since left the state.
Boxers have also represented this country at the Commonwealth, Central American and Caribbean (CAC), Pan American and Olympic Games, over the past several decades.
Hudson Nanton with coach ‘Buddy’ Browne attended this country’s involvement at its first Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988. Unfortunately Nanton never made it into the ring. We were told by the leadership of the Vincentian delegation to the Games that he was overweight at the time he was scheduled to compete – a most unacceptable embarrassment.
There was also a time when neighbouring Grenada sought to assist this country in maintaining its course in respect of the development of boxing by inviting our athletes to compete in their own contests.
We also competed in Trinidad and Tobago on several occasions.
Unfortunately, however, we were still unable to sustain the development path and the sport lapsed.
Since the new leadership has emerged, the boxers in training have had opportunities for competition despite the problems with the ring. Several of them have recently returned from Trinidad and Tobago where they did not do too badly. Invitations to compete are already here from Grenada and St Lucia and of course the twin-island Republic.
2007 will witness this country’s involvement in the Pan American Games. Our boxers will nonetheless be expected to participate in qualifying competitions before being declared eligible to attend and contest at the Games. Next year too, the boxers will be expected to contest Qualification competitions for the Olympic Games scheduled for Beijing, China, in 2008.