FOLLOWING a successful 2016 outing at the sub-regional level, local boxers have something big to look forward to as the Saint Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) stages three major championships.
The announcement was made by SLBA’s President, David Christopher, when he addressed the SLBA annual awards held recently. He said Saint Lucia will host the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Invitational Tournament from April 26-30. Over 75 boxers from Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guadeloupe and Martinique have shown a keen interest in competing.
In July, the Beausejour Indoor Facility will host the 8th annual Creole Boxing Tournament with over 100 boxers competing. Also, over 300 boxers representing 25 countries from the region will meet in Saint Lucia for the 3rd Annual Caribbean Development Boxing Championships in December. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has donated US$25,000 towards the Caribbean Development Championship.
The three tournaments are part of the American Boxing Confederation’s calendar of events and are endorsed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
In the two previous Caribbean Boxing Championships, held in Guyana and Barbados, Saint Lucian’s Light Welterweight boxer Nathan Ferrari and schoolboy’ Omar Christopher captured the award for Youth Boxer of the Tournament.
David Christopher said the SLBA was excited to be host nation for the tournaments and intends to execute them to world-class standards. A major priority, he said, was the completion of the National Boxing Gymnasium located in Vigie.
“We have received some assistance from our boxing friends, like the Gobat family, who have contributed $5,000 and Cuthbert Didier has made a significant contribution as well,” Christopher said. “We are appealing to the government and the private sector to show their support as well. The SLBA will be looking to securing scholarships and training opportunities for our members and administrators and prepare a team of boxers to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2010.”
He told the boxers at the awards ceremony: “We have the Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Youth Championship coming up. The more our boxers remain focussed on their game the more the SLBA will sell Saint Lucia as a sports tourism destination and you are the ones that have to do it. The executive can only charter the programme for you. We will work hard to get you to the various programmes and championships. If you try to cheat the game, it will show up in the ring. If you don’t come to the gym, it will show up in the ring.”
Meanwhile, a new executive has been installed to manage the affairs of the Saint Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA). Led by David Christopher, the executive will serve for a four-year term. Other members include Julie Bonnet – 1st Vice-President, Shannon Lebourne – 2nd Vice-President and Public Relations Officer, Esther Busby – Treasurer, Lucy Goodman – Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, Garvin Niles – Secretary, Petra Hercules – Organizing Secretary and Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira – Immediate Past President and Special Advisor.