The turn of the new year for boxing will see emphasis being given to the development of young athletes and less on travelling and competition after the conclusion of the upcoming four-day 2013 National Amateur Boxing Championship, which is set for January 30 to February 2.
So much so that a schools’ assessment programme, an initiative of the T&T Amateur Boxing Association (T&TABA), will be staged on January 19 leading up to the championship, which too will be staged simultaneously with an AIBA referees/judges examination for local and regional candidates.
The dates for the championship have been set, but a venue, which is likely to be at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, is yet to be finalised.
The course, which will earn the respective candidates a one-star qualification grade, is part of the Sport Company of T&T’s (SporTT) prerequisite for would-be coaches.
SporTT, according to president of the TTABA Cecil Forde, has vigorously encouraged the development of athletes, coaches and officials, since the amateur body returned under the cover of the special interest company in the Ministry of Sport in October.
Special advisor to the T&T Boxing Board of Control Boxu Potts, speaking yesterday at the launch of the championship, staged at the A/V Room at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, appealed to coaches to take advantage of the opportunity to develop their skills.
Potts noted a lack of qualified and motivated coaches, saying there were many who needed to become “father figures” and develop a holistic approach to properly train the athletes.
The national competition, which will cost an estimated $200,000, has already seen funds amounting to $70,000 pumped in by SporTT.
Represented by sport services officer Rixon Power, SporTT handed over several pairs of gloves, punching bags and other pieces of equipment to the TTABA, which was noted as the first body to sign the service level agreement for 2013.
The championship, according to Potts, will be used as the basis of selection for fighters who will represent T&T at upcoming regional and international competitions for 2013.
However, more attention will be given to the development of the young athletes, rather than competition, in time for next year, when the Commonwealth and the CAC Games takes place.
The schools’ programme examination, which will be held in just over two weeks’ time, will see students of 21 schools judged minimally on combat, but moreso on basic routines and exercises, such as stances, punches, skipping and squats.