Hard times hit boxer Emmanuel
BARBADOS’ leading amateur boxer Anderson Emmanuel is down and almost out.
Emmanuel, the Sportsman Of The Year for 2006, is virtually homeless.
He has been up against the ropes since his home at Sobers Lane, The City, was severely damaged by the ravages of Tropical Storm Tomas last October. Since then, he has been residing with his sister Maria in Ivy Housing Area, but it has been a tough existence in a three-bedroom Government unit with six family members, and he is crying out for a place of his own.
“My sister has played her part in trying to help me, but it is tough. I have to sleep on the floor, and that has been very uncomfortable.
“I would like the National Housing Corporation to come to the rescue. I am a national athlete and can’t compete with this mindset. It’s really hard trying to focus on what I?am good at, and that is boxing,” he said.
Emmanuel, who turned 27 last week, says if he does not find proper living conditions, he might have to forego next month’s Pan Am Games boxing qualifier in Panama.
The 6 foot 3 inch heavyweight needs to medal in Panama to earn a berth for the 16th Pan Am Games to be held from October 14 to 30, 2011, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“My training has been set back badly. I am fit but I still need to put in the work. I would like to go to Panama to try and qualify, but my mind is not at ease. Boxing, like most things, requires plenty of mental preparation and I can’t focus right now,” said a glum Emmanuel.
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia, Barbados sent nearly 100 sporting troops into combat in Melbourne, and Emmanuel was the only one soldier that had something to show for the fight that cost this country $1.1 million, snatching a bronze in the heavyweight (91 kg) division. That same year, the former St George Secondary student won a bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean?Games in Colombia.
Last night, Minister of Finance and?Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler said he would communicate with Minister of Housing Michael Lashley, and Government would give the matter urgent attention.