It is therefore very important that the SVGABA continue on its development path to facilitate increased numbers entering the fraternity at all levels and that the organisation becomes more vibrant than has been the case hitherto.
The leadership seems poised to facilitate this process and every bit of encouragement is most welcome.
NOC Grassroots Talent ID
The SVGABA is one of six sports involved in the Grassroots Talent Identification Programme of the NOC that got going here in September.
Unfortunately the organisation has not been able to move around the country as initially anticipated and as Athletics, Basketball and Cycling have been able to do.
the most part the SVGABA has based its involvement in the Grassroots Talent Identification Programme at the Bishops College Kingstown where several youths have already begun to come forward expressing an interest in and a willingness to train as boxers. It is to be expected that with time the SVGABA will get going around St Vincent and the Grenadines, using the numerous hard courts that exist to expose more of the nation’s youths to the skills required to succeed in the sport.
The Technical Course scheduled for 2007 under the auspices of the NOC will also afford the SVGABA the opportunity to train several persons as coaches who can later become involved in the conduct of training sessions under the ambit of the Grassroots Talent Identification Programme.
At the international level amateur boxing has been embroiled in major conflicts, especially at the leadership level. The recent election for the Presidency of the international body in the Dominican Republic is a case in point.
One of the delegates from an African country attending the Congress was found dead in the elevator of the hotel at which he was staying and some suspect foul play. There was an international struggle for the leadership and it got nasty with several emails being sent to and fro, exposing the rottenness of the entire organisation to the international community.
The SVGABA needs to steer clear of such conflict and focus instead on its own reorganisation of itself and the sport here at home. Critical to the success of this approach will be the extent to which it is able to identify more persons to serve on its executive as well as coaches and referees.
Of importance, too, is the organisation’s capacity to access a coach of a relatively high standard over an extended period. Given this country’s relations with Cuba and the latter’s proficiency in the sport of boxing, we should have no difficulty in entering into some arrangement with the Cubans to have Cuban coaches working here to aid the sport’s development and some of our athletes going to Cuba for high level training as athletes in the sport.
The SVGABA also needs to complete the necessary work on the ring so that it can get its athletes to train within its confines as well as host competitions for local boxers as well as showcase our boxing talent against our neighbours, initially, before engaging boxers from farther afield.
There is an urgent need, too, for the SVGABA to do like the Cubans and utilise hard courts across the country to show potential athletes the true nature of the sport and encourage their involvement.
One is, however, satisfied that the new leaders of the sport here are understanding of the challenges ahead of them and are willing to confront them with renewed commitment.
Let us all lend our support.