What if amateur boxing’s tank was half full?

Asks Emmerson Campbell

Through Keevin Allicock’s heroics, Guyana was able to snare its only medal, a silver at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games which concluded in the Bahamas on Sunday.

Of the 10 sportsmen and women that represented the Golden Arrowhead in four disciplines (boxing, judo, swimming and track and field) only the 17 year-old pugilist from Albouystown was able to return to the 592 with precious metal despite the “Guyana Boxing Association running on fumes”

So just like Steve Ninvalle, the president of the GBA asked “what if the tank was half full”?

It is no secret that the fistic sport is the discipline that has brought Guyana its solitary Olympic medal. Despite unparalleled achievements however, boxing does not get the kind of support that other disciplines with less accomplishments enjoy.

Any boxing buff can point out that on several occasions pugilists won medals at major championships when athletes from other disciplines came back empty-handed. So amateur boxing has credentials to be proud of and there is emerging talent that can reach the same level as the numerous World Champions that Guyana has produced.

But the biggest challenge that faces the local boxers (and the GBA) is not their gloved opponents, it is funding. And the claim that there is not enough financial resources to give to all the disciplines is a never ending cycle.

We must stop going through the same process year after year. In fact, I think if the claim is that funds are limited to support all of the disciplines, I believe if it comes down to a priority list, amateur boxing should be high on the list because of its success rate compared to other sports.

Other than that, the GBA must find more creative ways to raise money to assist the boxers. It is their responsibility at the end of the day to ensure the best boxers get the high-class competition they need to improve their craft and by extension improve their chances to excel.

I know that the coaches and the GBA have done their best with limited resources and archaic facilities to bring the boxers to a certain level, but I still think there is a way that some of the former outstanding boxers who are still active in training  should be brought on board to lend technical assistance to the overall programme.

Credit must go to Allicock and others before him who made the grade fighting against the odds but one again asks “what if the tank was half full”?

I look forward to seeing the GBA and stakeholders working together to give the sweet science the support it deserves.

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