…GBA kick starts junior championships todayBoxing action will return to the National Gymnasium this evening as the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) is preparing to host the third edition of the Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors Championships.GBA President Steve Ninvalle; Director of Sport, Christopher Jones and Jamaican Coach Gilbert Valdz flanked by members of the Jamaican junior teamThe Championships, which were first hosted in Guyana back in 2016, sees participation from numerous countries around the Caribbean, inclusive of Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.With those teams coming into the Land of Many Waters, GBA President Steve Ninvalle divulged the aims of the Association’s initiative. “What we have done in Guyana is that we have seen the need for emphasis to be placed on the nursery of the sport not only in this country but wider afield, and it was with this in mind that we sat, we plotted, we planned, and we came up with this tournament.”Furthermore, the GBA President posited that the event was not being viewed as only a competition but as a way to assess the continued development of the Caribbean’s young boxers.“It’s not about Guyana actually winning, this is a collaborative regional effort and we want to know where the Region is as it relates to that department of the sport. After this, we’ll take a panoramic view and we can say aptly that as a region the Caribbean needs to do this and that,” Ninvalle stated.The Association President also took the time to highlight the fact that the GBA has multiplied the number of junior competitions in order to produce the best for the tournament. In past years, only two competitions were held internally; that number has been raised to two per month.Following a similar train of thought, Director of Sport, Christopher Jones spoke on the measures being taken by his office to improve the quality of the Championships. Jones disclosed that the National Sport Commission (NSA) has gone as far as employing a coach who was working with young boxers in the hinterland regions.“The NSC would have hired a boxing coach and he’s particularly working in the outlying regions – One, Seven, Eight and Nine. Because we recognise like the coast, many of those talents could be found in the hinterland region. And, as such, Mr Rogers has been working, identifying those boxers and essentially feeding them into the programmes that are had by the Boxing Association.”Furthermore, the Director of Sport explained that these tournaments were a testament to how much those initiatives have nurtured the athletes. “We have essentially seen the growth of our young boxers because of the programme that they would have set out. More particularly, this schoolboys and junior tournament provides an opportunity for those young boxers to be scouted.”The first team to land on these shores for this year’s tournament were the Jamaican team comprising three males, one female and a coach. Speaking on behalf of his team, Coach Gilbert Valdz praised the GBA for hosting the event.“Competition like this is good for us in the Caribbean, and Guyana has been holding up the Caribbean where schoolboys and amateur boxing around the Region is concerned. I want to give the President and his team a very hearty thank you for keeping their end of the bargain in promoting youths,” the Jamaican said.The three-day competition will utilise a budget of $6 million and the NSC has committed to sponsoring transportation, meals and petty cash among other things. All the teams for the competition will be weighed in tomorrow morning before the first punch is thrown at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue at 18:00h (6pm) sharp.