The Saint Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) is set to hold its all important Annual General Meeting and Elections today to elect a new executive to serve for the next four years.
The election, which will be streamed live, is being held at the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee Inc. headquarters in La Clery.
David Christopher, the current SLBF President spoke to THE VOICE about his plans for the Federation should he be re-elected and why the election is taking place today and not earlier.
“We had to notify the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the world governing body about the election one month before; we must have that stipulated time and wait for a response. It is not like before when you can just go ahead and keep an election. Everything has to be done differently with the new president and new governance,” he said.
Christopher noted that today’s election will be one with a difference because “boxing is the only sport that does not have much argument and misunderstanding, yet individuals don’t come forward to contest and serve.”
“It is a problem we have been having for years where we don’t have many individuals coming forward, especially the former boxers. Serving on the executive is voluntary so persons don’t want to give their time,” Christopher said.
The Federation now works with the Bordelais Correctional Facility, the Boys Training Centre, the gyms in Soufriere, Choiseul, Vieux Fort and some schools.
“We’ve just received more equipment recently so we want persons who will give us 110 percent to come onboard to push the boxing agenda forward,” Christopher said , adding that the time has come for individuals serving on national sports federations to be given stipends like those serving on different government boards.
“We have been lamenting (that) we are not producing the administrators (but) if the administrators do not feel the love and appreciation, they will eventually shy away from serving. As SLBF President I have been saying this for years, but the other presidents don’t see it that way. Some people have their own leadership style running their respective federation,” Christopher said.
He spoke of giving youth boxers a stipend to stay in the programme “because we have been losing our boxers to COVID-19 and to other sporting disciplines.”
“It’s time various national sports federations start to tap into the Citizen by Investment Programme so some of that money can be channeled back into the various sports organizations. We will be looking at that from an SLBF standpoint so when you see the cards being dealt with around the table, you will see a lot of things coming to the fore whereby sports is going to be on the front burner,” he said.
On the question of youth development Christopher said that the school boxing championship, which he tried a few years ago was met with a few stumbling blocks, however the atmosphere today is right, especially with a new Youth Development and Sports Minister and a new government in office.