The Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association is preparing for the upcoming Caribbean Amateur Championships taking place in Trinidad & Tobago this June 24-July 2. Cayman’s contenders, as shown in the accompanying photos, include Tracey Seymour and first time fighters Jesse Bodden, Myra Bodden, Cherie Branch and Eric McField. Training vigorously since early April, the Caribbean Championships is the first time the Amateur Association has participated in an international event since Hurricane Ivan destroyed the boxing gym almost two years ago. Still with no proper training facility, no ring to spar in, shared head gear, gloves, hand-wraps, and punching bags held together by duct tape, the members of the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association have persevered to rise above what they materially don’t have, and strengthened what internally they do have.
‘Our amateur boxers are training very hard, regardless of the lack of equipment they have to work with,’ said Nayon ‘Donie’ Anglin, coach of the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association The boxers are focusing on developing their strength and skill 6 days a week at the gym. We also do 4 days a week of cardio, sometimes twice a day at the track- 5:30 am and 5:3o pm. All of these boxers have full time jobs and yet fully committed to the intense training for such a prestigious Championship. They are looking good now, and in a few weeks will be looking even better.’
The Cayman Islands Government has extended some much-needed financial support to the Association, helping with flight costs, as the host country is to provide proper accommodations. The Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth and Culture Hon. Alden McLaughlin said that the Government will continue to support Cayman’s young boxers and congratulated them on their perseverance despite significant obstacles. He added that help is on the way and that he looks forward to the completion of the new Boxing gym this financial year at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex which he hopes will accommodate an expanded and enhanced boxing program in the Cayman Islands.
In addition to the Governments support, the boxers traveling for the Championships are in need of community sponsorship to help acquire team uniforms, individual gloves, proper boxing shoes, head gear and groin protectors. The team has none of these items; which, without community support, could result in a poor reflection of the Cayman Islands in Trinidad and Tobago. Both corporate and individual sponsorships are desired in helping the Association look and perform at their best in the Caribbean Amateur Championships. Among full time jobs and full time training, Cayman’s contenders are still hitting the streets searching for community sponsorship. If a member approaches you, please, consider the current lack of facilities and equipment, the strenuously hard training being put forth, and the dream each boxer holds in bringing home a title win to Cayman.
All types of support and donations will contribute to the success of the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association, and strengthen the value athletics has in the development of the youth, and Cayman, both locally and abroad.