Tue | May 22, 2018

MoBay Chamber embracing Gloves Over Gun

Published:Friday | April 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer
Stephen Jones ( fifth from left), president of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, is flanked by members of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), including MBCCI President T’Shura Gibbs (fourth from left; and former president, Gloria Henry (third from right) at Gloves Over Guns cheque presentation.

Western Bureau:

The drive to target at-risk youth in St James through sports got a major boost yesterday when the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) presented a cheque of $638,000 to support the Gloves Over Guns initiative.

Stephen Jones, president of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control, collected the cheque during the presentation ceremony at the MBCCI headquarters on the Overton Plaza in Montego Bay. The money is to be used in the youth boxing initiative, which has been dubbed Gloves Over Guns. The donation represents part of the proceeds from the MBCCI's Food Fashion and Dance event, which was held in February.

T'Shura Gibbs, MBCCI president, said that the Chamber was fully committed to supporting the three-year-old programme, which has solid roots in Kingston and which is to be officially launched in Montego Bay in the coming weeks. She expressed optimism that the initiative could help fix some of the social challenges currently being experienced in St James.

"Sport is one way that we could support these youngsters in some of these communities because although the programme is centred on boxing, it is also about mentorship and creating men and women of value from among these youngsters," said Gibbs.

"So we decided that from the amazing fashion and dance event that we had, part proceeds would go to the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control. Sandals Resort international was very pleased with the proposal that we sent over to them and has committed to coming on board as well to support the initiative," added Gibbs.

"I am grateful for what the Chamber has done to get behind our programme," said Jones. "We want to start immediately, and it's not just great men who we are building, but young women as well because when the women rise, the communities rise even quicker."

The Montego Bay Cricket Club will be housing the programme, where Job Walters, a former national boxing champion, will serve as head coach. Youngsters of all ages are invited to be part of the programme.

The Gloves Over Guns initiative has the backing of over 45 organisations, including the Jamaica Defence Force. Its primary goal is to instill discipline in youngsters in at-risk communities and create a path to success for them.