Boxing and Fight for Peace collaboration a success
Boxing Board president Stephen "Bomber" Jones has hailed as a great success the use of sport, and particularly boxing, as a means of social intervention.
Jones made his comments at a media briefing last Thursday at the Sports Development Foundation conference room on Phoenix Avenue, to announce a boxing card on Saturday, October 6 in Denham Town. The card will put on show some of the 150 boxers who have been produced by the Fight for Peace project, which has been active in six areas in Kingston, since 2014.
The project, uses sport, and particularly boxing and martial arts to attract boys and girls from age 10-24 into worthwhile endeavours, and encourages them to be positive, rather than negative, in their outlook on life. Jones pointed out that this has become a part of the Jamaica Boxing Board's Community Boxing outreach, and has proven to be a tremendous success.
"We have been making an effort to grow the sport in Jamaica and one of our primary goals is to see boxing in Jamaica's schools again. We are making good progress in our planning in this regard, and what we are doing with Fight for Peace, has allowed us to achieve some of our goals," he said.
The boxing card, Jones said, "will feature some of the young boxers produced by Fight for Peace, going up against boxers from other gyms, and we are holding the event in Denham Town, which is one of the areas from which they are drawn. Their parents and colleagues will be able to come out to cheer them, and be aware of how they have grown over the past few years."
Kellie Magnus, Jamaica's Country Lead for Fight for Peace, said that she was thrilled that this event is taking place, and was "confident that it will have a positive impact on the entire area."
The youngsters are drawn from six communities, she pointed out. They are Trench Town, which is the largest, Denham Town, Tivoli Gardens, Parade Gardens, Hannah Town and Fletcher's Land.
Magnus also stated that although sport is one of the important parts of the programme, it is only one of the five pillars on which they are building. The others are Education, Employability, Youth Support Services and Youth Leadership. There have already been several success stories, she said, and boxing has provided one of them in the person of 18 -year old Kerone Thomas from Denham Town, who after boxing for only two years, became a champion in the Caribbean Amateur Development Tournament that was held in Barbados in 2016.
Thomas paid tribute to the efforts of her tutors, and said that the project had made a big difference in her life. Another young boxer, Kurt Thompson, who is a top prospect, also attested to the difference that the project, and particularly boxing, had made in his life.
President Jones also took the opportunity to announce that AIBA, the International Boxing Association, had agreed to make a financial contribution of US$300,000 to the Caribbean over three years, to assist with the training of boxers and officials, and to assist with tournaments. Full details of this, he said, will be given on
November 17, when an official from AIBA, is expected to come to Jamaica to do so.