The United States Embassy in Jamaica has sponsored boxing training at three venues across Jamaica last week.
This was done in collaboration with the USA-based Humpy Dumpty Institute (HDI) that partnered with Fight for Peace and the Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA).
The sessions were held from November 14 -19 at Denham Town Community Centre, Portmore and Montego Bay.
The HDI brought along a trainer and two accomplished female boxers to demonstrate their skills and assist with the training sessions. The first two-day session held last Tuesday and Wednesday took place at the Denham Town Community Centre and was preceded by a short launch last Tuesday morning where the parties – the US Embassy, the HDI, Fight for Peace and the JBA – highlighted the benefits to be derived from the sessions.
Why Jamaica was selected
According to Lennox Blackmoore of the HDI, “We decided to bring the programme to Jamaica, because Jamaica has good athletes and so we decided to try Jamaica.”
Blackmoore, a former British Commonwealth champion, along with another trainer Timor Juhasz and female boxers Ronica Jeffrey and Jenna Gaglioti, began the training session with an intense exercise session with the group of aspiring male and female boxers.
These boxers were part of the Fight for Peace Programme on the island. They were supported by a number of local trainers headed by accomplished local boxer, Sakima Mullings.
Blackmoore, who is originally Guyana, won his country’s lightweight and light middleweight titles during the 1970s. He now operates out of the Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York.
For her part, Gaglioti believes that boxing “is a sport for your mental health, for your emotional health. It does have the kids stay off the streets, stay disciplined and that’s what we want to teach the kids also”.
Training sessions welcomed
Rasheed Evans, who recently graduated from Mona High School, welcomed the training sessions, adding that he likes the sport and plans to become a professional.
“It has helped me to become a better person. It has helped me to motivate myself better. It has helped me to understand life and how it works,” Evans said.
Mark Cole, coordinator for Fight for Peace, who also works in a number of inner-city communities using boxing and martial arts to guide young people to make better life decisions, detailed some of the components of the training.
JBA president, Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, said that the sessions will help increase awareness about the sport across the island. He said the JBA is grateful that this is happening.
“It’s in line with what we have been pushing in terms of expanding the footprints of the sport. The boxing board is here to facilitate the programmes that we have in terms of what you see happening here through Fight for Peace,” Jones explained.