Thursday, Jun 4, 2020
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Ministry of Education endorses boxing development program

It’s been a long time coming, but finally a boxing element will be a part of the Ministry of Education’s format.

In Grand Bahama, West District Superintendent of Education Ivan Butler has entered into an understanding with the Grand Bahama Sports Promotion Association (GBSPA) for the advent of a boxing academy, with the Eight Mile Rock High School complex as the training base. Upon hearing of the initiative, Senior Sports Officer in the Ministry of Education Evon Wisdom expressed delight and pledged his support.

“Man, this is so good. I have been thinking of boxing, in some form, being a part of the ministry’s program. What is proposed is right in line with the push to broaden the sports outreach of the ministry,” said Wisdom.

Butler, in conjunction with the GBSPA President Fred Sturrup (this columnist), several weeks ago, earmarked an area at the school complex that would be the training base for young boxers. At the time, District Superintendent Butler emphasized the importance of safety measures.

“I am satisfied that every effort will be made by the GBSPA to ensure that the conditions are safe and proper for the ideal development of the young students as they engage in the process. I have been assured that the equipment will be first class and the program will be headed by a veteran, quality boxing personality, in the person of Meacher Major. We know that he was an outstanding boxer and an excellent sports ambassador for The Bahamas before his retirement. I am happy that the GBSPA has been able to secure his expertise to work with our young boys and girls,” said Butler.

The GBSPA will be responsible for outfitting the designated facility at the Eight Mile Rock High complex with equipment, for the aspiring boxers. Once per month, Major, who is also Regional Director for the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization (PACBO), will be brought into Grand Bahama to conduct training sessions for the young boys and girls who are registered in the program.

Those who perform well in the sessions, and are selected, would be matched in monthly tournaments, after the endorsement from the Ministry of Education and the Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) has been secured. A professional boxing exhibition, under the auspices of the Bahamas Boxing Commission, will be featured at each event.

On Tuesday, Wisdom said he was impressed with the planning.

“This is great. I like it that a template has been crafted. I appreciate this proactive trend,” said Wisdom.

The senior education sports officer has been a trailblazer. He is the prime figure behind national high school championships in number of sporting disciplines, notably, basketball and track and field. At some point down the road, hopefully the GBPSA’s boxing academy would be a significant dimension of a national high school boxing championships event.

Wisdom is high on the new venture getting off the ground during the upcoming summer months.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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