BABA: Boxing meet a plus
BARBADOS will reap tremendous benefits in tourist arrivals and much-needed equipment from hosting the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship from September 6 to 19, later this year.However, according to president of the Barbados Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) and head of the local organising committee, Joyce Bowen, all of that could be meaningless if boxing were still unable to find a home to train and to store all of the equipment that would follow from hosting the championships.The equipment comprises six fighting rings and training rings, six weighing scales and punching bags.Her comments were made at a press briefing yesterday to update the public on the progress of preparations for the staging of what is expected to be the largest World Championship in women’s boxing. The event will also serve as a precursor to the London 2012 Olympics when women’s boxing will make its Olympics debut.“We have been working hard and achieving a lot in men’s boxing and to be able to win the nod to host these championships shows that we have been producing,” said Bowen. “With the development of women’s boxing we need training facilities even more urgently. This is not something that popped up yesterday, we need someone to come to our assistance.”Ironically, Barbados received glowing progress reports from two top AIBA officials, sports director Olaf Veltman, and technical delegate Yeu Yan, who said their assessments suggested that Barbados would have a very successful and impressive championships.Yan, who is lending his expertise and experience to Barbados’ organising committee, is from China which will be hosting the 2012 women’s championships. Both Veltman and Yan are expected to meet with Minister of Youth and Sports Stephen Lashley today.Veltman, who previously visited the island to look at the hotel accommodations for the officials and competitors, said that he was very happy with the renovations done at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium where painting had been carried out and the locker room upgraded.“This is the first championships where we are anticipating so many participants and I must praise the local organising committee for making provisions to welcome the friends and families of the visiting competitors,” he told the media.It is expected that 600 visitors from 72 countries will be in Barbados for close to five weeks during the tournament. The boxers will be vying for ten gold medals in categories ranging from 45 kgs to 81 kgs.