Government rescues Olympic hopeful boxers with $25M


first_imgBy Rawle ToneyTHE Government of Guyana, through the National Sports Commission (NSC), has come to the aid of the country’s top boxers, who are all aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Yesterday, at a simple, yet significant presentation ceremony, Director of Sport Christopher Jones handed over a cheque valued $2.5M to president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle.  The donation will go towards sending Colin Lewis, Desmond Amsterdam, Keevin Allicock, Dennis Thomas and Canadian-based Taveena Kum to the March 26-April 3 Olympic Qualifying tournament in Argentina.On Tuesday GBA in a press release said that they were ‘on the ropes’ as it related to gathering the US$11 000 needed for the boxers’ accommodation, as well as the US$1800 per person towards getting them to Argentina, especially after they had missed the February 24 deadline given. Jones told reporters at his Homestretch Avenue Office, that initially, the NSC had told the GBA upon their previous request that based on the unavailability of a budget they were unable to assist the team’s trip to Argentina.The Government of Guyana had combined with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) to send a team of four boxers and coach to Cuba for a three-month stint as part of the GBA’s plans to properly prepare them for the up-coming qualifying tournament. According to Jones, it would have been inhumane for the NSC, and by extension the Government, to not come to find a way to rescue the association. Jones pointed out that despite the circumstances surrounding acquiring funds, the NSC “had to do what is necessary to ensure that our boxers stay focussed and not have to worry about anything or be distracted about whether or not they would be unable to participate in the Olympic qualifiers.“The four boxers and coach who are in Cuba, we want them to be focussed … we are confident, based on the work we’ve seen the boxing association has been doing over the years, that our boxers will make it to the Olympics.” Ninvalle praised the Government for their late, but yet timely intervention, noting that he was certain, this time more than ever before, that Guyana will be represented in the field of boxing at the Olympic Games this year, and will also return with a medal.The GBA president said, unlike before, the boxers are better prepared, thanks to the collaborative effort between Government and the GOA. Terrence Poole MS, Sebert Blake and Francisco Roldan are the coaches travelling with the boxers to Argentina.last_img

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