While the coronavirus pandemic triggers fear and uncertainty in millions of people around the world, Cayman Islands head boxing coach Floyd Trumpet has found something positive in the crisis. “It has affected us, but I wouldn’t say in a bad way,” said Trumpet, pointing to one potential positive outcome of more people signing up.
Since signing his four-year contract to be Cayman’s head boxing coach in December 2018, he has produced up-and-coming stars like undefeated Caribbean heavyweight champion Jaden Eccleston and super heavyweight prospect Chris Hurlston. Previously, he took Trinidad and Tobago national boxing champion Nigel Paul to the 2016 Olympic Games in just 11 fights. Trumpet said COVID-19 has not fully interrupted his athletes training.
“Sometimes things happen and people moan and groan, but I like to take those opportunities to make things happen,” said Trumpet. “For example, we have Chris and Jaden, two young guys showing good promise. Chris hasn’t made his debut as yet but based on the way he is training and the way he’s performing alongside Jaden, you can see that these two guys can be something special in boxing. “I told them to use this time to get super fi t because we have a lot of things coming up next year… the world championships also, and the following year we have CAC games, and the Commonwealth games. “The main thing I told them to do is to keep running, shadow boxing, skipping. Just things that they can do by themselves because what we don’t want is the engagement, we still want to maintain that social distancing.”
While Trumpet has stayed optimistic through the current world crisis, he said the pandemic has interfered with his youth development programme.
“Our hardest impact would be with the kids” taking part in afterschool and youth programmes, said Trumpet. “They’re out of school, they can’t come and train, so they are affected. “The gym is practically empty; around this time there’s normally a mini session. Myself, my assistant coach Rogerio, and [Cayman Islands Boxing Association president, Leyla Jackson], we were having discussions before it was announced by the government to close. Because the gym is a place that viruses can spread very quickly, with all the sweating, people rubbing against one another, punching each other. So I didn’t have a problem because, as a coach, my fi rst priority is the safety of my athletes.