Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley (right) receiving a token from President of AIBA Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu.

This island’s Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, is on a mission – to ensure that amateur women’s boxing in Barbados "moves from strength to strength".

Mr. Lashley gave this undertaking last Saturday, while delivering an address at the closing banquet at Hilton Barbados for the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) Women Championship.

"We will make sure that this sport develops… We will plot the development path to ensure that we can have competitive women’s boxing in Barbados and in the Caribbean. So, the work has only just begun," he told his audience.

Acting Chief Justice, Sherman Moore (second from left) and wife, Edna, in conversation with Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Beverley Weekes and President of the Barbados Olympic Association, Steve Stoute.

The Minister noted that the 10-day championship, which attracted 267 boxers from 65 countries and ended over the weekend, had created a renewed impetus in women’s boxing and brought the eyes of the world on the sport.

Mr. Lashley paid tribute to the four Barbadian boxers, saying they represented themselves extremely well. "I feel very proud of all of our boxers who participated in the championship. And I want to say to them that they should see themselves as pioneers because already I have said to the Barbados Amateur Boxing Association and the National Sports Council that we intend to ride on this wave of success," he stressed.

The Sports Minister also commended those involved in the staging of the tournament, stating that Barbados could feel justly proud. "There were challenges in this project, but I felt there was no problem too large that we could not solve," he underscored.

President of AIBA, Dr. Ching-Kuo ??Wu, described the sixth championship as "absolutely the best ever", and praised all for their hard work.

Dr. Wu said the hosting of the tournament "proves that Barbados is a wonderful sporting country". He continued: "A lot of young ladies will train as women’s boxers. This is a very important legacy AIBA left and I hope it will have a long-term effect on the sport of boxing in the region and in Barbados."??

??He urged officials to create a museum here, so all the collectible items from the championship, including the bidding documents and photographs, could be stored there. The Minister agreed, stating it was an idea which could be pursued with Dr. Wu’s help.

Several gifts and tokens of appreciation were presented during the evening. saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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