Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, has pledged his commitment to improving the boxing industry over the next two to three years.
He made this promise as he accepted a donation of equipment and PPE on behalf of the Barbados Boxing Association on Monday, from boxer Paige Suchit and the South Side Legion Boxing, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Mr Suchit is a member of the Barbados National Boxing Team.
Mr. Sutherland stated that building out a successful sports economy and sports industry in Barbados through various disciplines rested on three fundamental pillars: youth, community sports and elite sports.
The Sports Minister added that he believed that the discipline of boxing, which allowed for “individual success based on the individual’s own dedication and commitment”, could be utilised within communities to save lives, as it provided an outlet to exert energy and hone a skill, while also boosting the economy and fostering greater ties with other countries.
He thanked PR and Communications Specialist, Anmarie Bailey, who presented the equipment and supplies on behalf of Mr. Suchit.
Speaking on behalf of Paige Suchit; his father and manager, Lincoln Suchit; and his coach, Dana Paulson; Ms. Bailey said that the boxer regularly supports his teammates in several forms and the PPE presented, which was supplied by Deploya Global Connections, was an example of this assistance.
“Mr. Suchit uses his platform to promote Barbados and desires, along with his teammates, to restore Barbados’ position on the international boxing scene, as he believes the sport of boxing can be pushed in Barbados and will continue to work to that end along with all stakeholders,” she stated.
It was highlighted during the handover that Paige Suchit initiated a mentoring programme in the Edmonton School System, where he uses his story of how boxing enabled him to stay focused, while providing an outlet for him to manage his ADHD and ADD.
It was stated that he also promotes the island during his addresses at schools and values the ongoing relationship between Canada and Barbados.
To date, the Suchit family has donated boxing bags, adults and kids boxing gloves, hand wraps, hand pads, skipping ropes, boxing boots, body protectors, as well as PPE masks and care packages.
Members of the Barbados Boxing Association and its Board were also present at the handover.