In its first major initiative after removing the ‘amateur’ tag from its name last year, the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) in collaboration with the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) will commence rewarding selected elite boxers with stipends beginning in May.
The move according to GBA’s president, Steve Ninvalle is geared towards maximizing the chances of the selected boxers to medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
“The GBA and the GOA held meetings and came up with systems whereby elite boxers or some members of the elite community will receive stipends,” said Ninvalle during yesterday’s interview with Stabroek Sport.
“It is a small but significant step towards our possible participation at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil,” he added.
“It is very important for fighters to be comfortable and if we have to demand medals from them then we have to put measures in place to allow them to win medals.”
According to Ninvalle, GOA’s president, K. Juman Yassin after a meeting with GBA’s top brass pushed for the payments to start as early as May. The GBA also identified six boxers including a female to receive the monthly stipends which will come with certain restrictions. “Juman Yassin, president of the GOA is pushing for us to give the first disbursement by May, but the monthly payments will have certain requirements and systems will be put in place. “It is going to be monthly and at this time we have identified six young boxers which include a female but hopefully that will increase”.
When quizzed on the names of the boxers and the value of the stipend, Ninvalle stated: “I do not want to divulge the names of the boxers or the amount at the moment because a figure is still being worked on and the female is also yet to be selected but hopefully by Tuesday we will come to those final decisions”.
So what are the feelings of the young pugilists?
“We held a meeting with the boxers with the recent development and they are enthused, this is a part of the new initiatives that was included in our four-year plan and we are optimistic about them.”
The GBA was previously referred to as GABA (the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association) until its governing body, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) requested changes for all its affiliated associations worldwide.