THE Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Boxing Association (TTABA) has outlined its itinerary and agenda for 2014 which it hopes will culminate in the fielding of a competitive contingent at the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The TTABA believes for that goal to be realised, the young boxers must engage in a number of local and regional box-offs in order to get them to the required level.
The organising body for the sport at its amateur level thus intends putting on cards every two weeks throughout the country. The programme starts this coming weekend at the Cosmic Boxing Gym in Marabella, from Friday through Sunday, and will showcase three categories; School Boys (ages 10 – 15), Juniors (ages 15 – 16) and Youth (ages 16 – 18). On February 15, the Youth Training Centre (YTC) in conjunction with the Life Sport programme will host YTC versus The Rest, at the Institution.
The TTABA’s elite team leaves for Guyana on February 13 for a three-day Caribbean tournament featuring Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and the US Virgin Islands. This will represent the first major test for the elite team, which is currently in training for the first stage of qualification for the CAC Games. This takes place in Mexico in May.
The TTABA indicated that the elite team has been invited to live-in camps in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba. The Association is currently sorting out the logistics while working in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and The Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC).
Locally, the Reynold Cox Super League is scheduled to start in mid-February. This tournament will see the triumphant community team winning $10,000 in prize money. The TTABA is looking towards financial assistance from the TTBBC to adequately fund the aforementioned programmes, thus ensuring that the events prove a success.
The TTABA also expressed its concern with the present state of affairs within the sport. It is imploring all those involved to see the bigger picture, noting that most of the young aspiring boxers have spent the last year in live-in camps making sacrifices, preparing themselves for these events which, hopefully, will put them on the path to Rio 2016.
Schedule of events
1. Continental Youth — March
2. National Championships — March
3. World Youth Qualifier— April (Sofia, Bulgaria)
4. Caribbean Championships — April
5. First Qualifier for CAC Games — May
6. Continental Female — May 7. Second Qualifier for CAC Games — July
8. Commonwealth Games — July 9. World Youth Olympics — August
10. CAC Games — November