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Women’s plea

marciadottin, [email protected]

Women’s plea

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“WE urgently need your support!” This is the plea sent to Corporate Barbados by Joyce Bowen, chairperson of the local organising committee for the AIBA World International Women’s Boxing Championships.Bowen told Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, sponsors and members of the press last Friday at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium that her association was in dire need of assistance in a number of areas for the September 9 to 18 competition.“Initially, what started out as being a tournament expecting to attract just over 35 countries, has now blossomed into one that has attracted participants from 85 countries numbering some 700 plus boxers and officials,” Bowen said. “We are in need of volunteers, cash, and expertise as well as support services in an effort to make this happen. “Whatever you are able to contribute will be welcome. The Government has injected $2.5 million and the (BOA) Barbados Olympic Association has today donated BD$200 000, but much more is needed and we are pleading for your support in an effort to make this event the success we know it will be.”Bowen also said that despite their limited resources, she was relatively happy with the progress to date. “The training facility at Maxwell is all but completed. It will feature four boxing rings and all the necessary training equipment for the athletes to train 24 hours a day,” she said.“It is located right onto the hotel where most of the athletes will be staying, so they can easily have access to train day or night at their leisure.”Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, said he was very excited for a number of reasons. “I see this as an opportunity to sell our beautiful island to the international community – some who have never heard the name Barbados or even know where we are located,” he said.“It is an opportunity for Barbados to demonstrate its prowess in female boxing on the international stage. It is an opportunity to showcase Barbados to the international community.”Lashley went on to state that Barbados should gain plenty once the event came off as planned.    “This event is an important plus for our country. It is a precursor and a qualifier to the Olympic Games in London in 2012,” he said.    “This therefore means that once those cameras start to roll across the global airwaves on the amateur boxers who make it to the Olympics, and the history of these female boxers are repeated, the name Barbados will have to be factored in because of the fact that it had started here.” The sixth AIBA Women’s Boxing Championships will be hosting female boxers from 85 countries as opposed to 42 in the last championship held in China in 2006. “Barbados and Barbadians should be justly proud of having been selected to host an event of this magnitude,” Lashley said.“It has stretched our resources and I am therefore joining with president Joyce Bowen to ask corporate Barbados to come on board with their support for this historic event. (CH)

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