Some of the women boxers dancing to calypso music at the cocktail reception.
Local women boxers competing in the upcoming International Amateur Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Women World Boxing Championships are appealing to their compatriots to support them when they don national colours and step into the ring at the Wildey Gymnasium.
Five Barbadians, including Jenny Benedick and Greeta Narine, have been training for the championships, which will run from September 9 to 18, and they are looking forward to meeting the opponents in their divisions.
Ms. Benedick said: "Training has been tough but I am getting through it. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices, but I am making them. I may not get gold, but I am looking to get through to the medal round and do whatever it takes to make my country proud."
Her colleague Greeta Narine, added: "I feel confident and excited … Our training has been intensified and I am getting better. I too have sacrificed a lot of things in my life in an effort to train more because this [championship] means a lot to me. I want to make my country, family and friends proud."
Boxing on their minds: (from left) Head Coach, Nino Fracasso; Barbados Coach, Gary Bowen; Head of the LOC, Joyce Bowen; and Assistant Coach, Dr. Christy Halbert in discussion at the reception.
Their coach, Gary Bowen, said the women’s chances at receiving medals were "fairly good", but noted that the public must take into consideration that boxing is a young sport in Barbados.
"There are countries that have had women boxers for a number of years and they have various competitions for them… Women’s boxing is technical and skillful and it needs the support of the public. It is the one sport that has been able to bring medals to Barbados at the various levels," Mr. Bowen asserted.
Competition Manager, Andrew Sealy, said as the host nation, Barbados wanted its boxers to do very well, but reminded that they "are very young and new to competition". He stressed though that they were working "very hard" under their coach.
"We hope they would do the best they can, but they will be facing some stiff competition… Hopefully the Road to Barbados Programme [now currently on] will allow them to develop their skills even more, so when they finally get into the ring for the first bout on September 9, they will be ready," a confident Mr. Sealy stated.
Tickets will go on sale shortly and according to the Competition Manager, they will be sold at an attractive price so Barbadians could be a part of the world-class firstname.lastname@example.org