GOA gets funding to prepare Pan-Am athletes
By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
November 22, 2002

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THE Guyana Olympic Association received international funding to prepare local athletes for next year’s Pan-American Games.

At a media conference yesterday GOA president K. Juman-Yassin announced that the local National Olympic body was able to “access” some $11M from the Pan-American Sport Organisation.

“Our athletes will be better trained for the Pan-American Games,” Juman-Yassin said.

The money will be divided almost equally for boxing, track & field, table tennis and weightlifting, with the greater amounts going to the disciplines in which more athletes will benefit.

Athletes will be assisted with nutrients and supplements, while coaches will be given a stipend. Money could also be used for training equipment.

Each of the four associations has already drawn down on an initial sum and thereafter, money will be dispersed monthly on the submission of bills and relevant information on how the money is used.

“Focus will be on accountability,” Juman-Yassin said.

Juman-Yassin, who is also the head of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association, disclosed that the boxing body has four coaches receiving stipend, including the National coach Lennox Daniels and Dirk Alexander of Linden.

Apart from that, money is put aside for a coach to visit Linden thrice per month for the development of young boxers.

The boxing official also used the forum to respond to negative criticisms belched out by a former boxer who has a television programme, promoter Keith Bazilio and Director of Sport Neil Kumar.

Juman-Yassin referred to an article in another newspaper in which the GABA was dubbed “uncaring” about the development of young boxers, since no official attended the recent Under-16 card staged in Linden by Dr Michael Carryl.

“I take criticism in stride. If it is justified, I have no problem,” Juman-Yassin said.

The GABA boss said that officials did not attend because the card was changed from Saturday to Sunday at very short notice and officials already had other commitments.

GABA had given the event its blessings, even postponing its own Under-16 card from last Friday to this Friday, to facilitate the Linden venture.

“I think it is a shot in the arm and boxing will really get a push start,” Juman-Yassin said of Carryl’s involvement.

Juman-Yassin said that what was lacking was having more gyms, for which, although the GABA might have a responsibility for such, the government was the entity responsible.

“The greater responsibility remains with the government. They have the resources,” Juman-Yassin contended.

The GABA head pointed out that the boxing body did not have a major source of funding, but relied on sympathetic entities and fund-raising, but there was difficulty because of the present political situation.

“It is difficult when there is no funding,” Juman-Yassin said.

The GABA head disclosed that the police did not grant permission for the fund-raiser at the seawall although the Mayor and City Council had given the green light for the use of the venue. That very night a cultural show was staged for the two world champions at the National Park.

“Will funds from the National Park fund-raiser go towards the development of boxing?” Juman-Yassin asked.

Juman-Yassin pointed out that going around giving gloves and punching bags cannot in itself improve the sport.

“There need to be coaches,” Juman-Yassin said, pointing out that the Ministry of Sport had no boxing coach on its payroll for sometime now unlike the years when boxing produced champions with government-paid coaches.

Juman-Yassin reiterated that Guyana has the talent as proved with three world champions, with more waiting for the opportunity to do the country proud.

“Opportunity must be given to the youths by having proper training facilities and support,” Juman-Yassin said.

The amateur boxing boss disclosed that AIBA, the world governing body, will be giving affiliated members computers so that they can be linked with the rest of world on the Internet, thereby giving information on how they operate.

GABA is looking for a volunteer to set up the equipment and establish the website when the hardware arrives. Interested persons can contact Juman-Yassin at his office.

Meanwhile, World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Wayne ‘Big Truck’ Braithwaite and his trainer Colin Morgan have donated the trophies for tonight’s Under-16 card at the National Gymnasium. The first gong will sound at 18:30 hrs.

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