Prof. Ravi Chaturvedi
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T&T boxing chief earns AIBA executive position
President of the T&T Amateur Boxing Association (TTABA) Cecil Forde has been selected as an executive member of the American Boxing Confederation which is the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA’s) continental body of the Americas branch. This announcement was made at an AIBA executive meeting held in Ottawa, Canada, on February 10. Forde was selected by the membership of the region and was congratulated by fellow Caribbean executive member Jamaican Larry Brown. The Americas consist of 42 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Cuba, Peru and Paraguay. He replaces John Charles of Dominica.
Forde, who is the son of the late Burton Forde, has held the position of president of TTABA for the past 12 years. His father was one of the all-time greats in local boxing as a coach, manager, promoter and matchmaker being responsible for many of the top fighters from the 1950’s to the 80’s. His charges included household names like Johnny De Peiza, Roy Harry, Fitzroy Guiseppi, Claude Noel, Leslie Fredrick, Mat Donavon and Michael Drayton.
A well-known figure in the regional and international arena of amateur boxing, Forde is well respected amongst his peers and colleagues. An elated Forde said he welcomed the new position and is looking forward to a revamping of boxing. He has given his commitment to work assiduously to rebuild the sport at the Caribbean level. While his focus will be on the broader scale of the Caribbean, Forde has indicated that his goal is to have T&T boxers at the 2016 Olympics.
He has a vision to graduate the amateur boxers from one level to the next, starting with the Junior Continental Championships which takes place in T&T in July. “We will start with juniors who are 15 to 16 years. This year they will have the opportunity to compete against some of the best amateurs throughout the region. This is their first big test. “Next year, the Youth Olympic will take place and that will also be part of the preparation process. 2015 will also have other Olympic qualifiers and my goal is to have our boxers well prepared for the Brazil Olympics in 2016. It is a process and an Olympic medal is the only prize that eludes our boxers.”
Forde explained that T&T boxers have medalled at the other championships and now the team is intent on bringing home some metal from Brazil. He said they have sufficient time but must work effectively and all-round support will be needed. He thanked AIBA for granting him the position of an executive member and said he will use those powers to take boxing to the highest level possible.