WEDNESDAY WOMAN: Champion for boxing
AMATEUR BOXING is a safe sport – one of the safest in the world, says president of the Amateur Boxing Association of Barbados, Joyce Bowen.
And whether you are a male or female boxer, safety comes first in amateur boxing, and what you see happening in professional boxing on television is not what happens in the amateur arena.
This is Bowen’s cry as she fights everyday for amateur boxing to be respected in Barbados. She has never been in a ring or thrown a punch, but her husband is the island’s national boxing coach, which caused her to become involved in it in order to fit into her spouse’s daily schedule.
This WEDNESDAY WOMAN took her support to another level when she became president of the amateur boxing association in 2005.
Declaring that Barbadians do not pay enough attention to boxing, she told the MIDWEEK NATION that as long as Barbadians could understand that the sport was safe, then they would begin to accept it.
“We also need to have proper training facilities for our boxers. When you have parents and schools coming around they need to see good training facilities so that they would feel comfortable that their children or family are in an environment that is family-like.
“I can clearly see that amateur boxing is doing a lot for sports in Barbados. I remember when a whole team of athletes went away to represent Barbados, amateur boxing was the only sport to bring back a medal and this has happened on more than one occasion. I think it is about time corporate Barbados gives us an ear,” Bowen said.
The 57-year-old executive member of the American Boxing Federation reported that Barbados, which has produced a number of excellent boxers, holds the Caribbean men’s and women’s championship trophy. So it saddens her to see parents stopping their children from doing amateur boxing, since they are the sport’s future.
“This is why I say we need to educate the public . . . we need to get into the schools when they have PTA meetings and give talks on the sport and what it is all about. We are also calling on parents to join the association because we need referee judges, coaches and assistant coaches,” she explained.
“A lot of children hide from their parents to come to boxing. We give them application forms that they take to their parents to be signed; yes the forms come back signed . . when we call up the parents, the parents don’t even know they are training. But, the children do this because they love the sport,” she added.
She also encouraged Barbadians to support the AIBA World Championships scheduled to start tomorrow afternoon at the Gymnasium at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.