The D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gymnasium was built in 2008 and named in honour of Cayman’s first boxing coach and referee, Dunstan Dalmain Ebanks, affectionately known as ‘DD’.
A former Royal Navy boxer, Ebanks was heavily involved in the local community through politics, music and sports. But his biggest contribution, at least on the sporting front, was the role he played in developing Cayman’s boxers.
Ebanks grew up in West Bay. In the 1970s, before anything even closely resembling Cayman’s current boxing facility existed. He built a makeshift gym in the district, according to the Cayman Islands Boxing Association. He later went on to use the Town Hall building in George Town – now known as Constitution Hall – to coach aspiring pugilists.
He went on to start the Cayman Islands Amateur Boxing Association, the governing body under which he trained Caymanian athletes like Ivan Farrington, George Whittaker, Dale Ramoon, Nayon Anglin, Buel Braggs and a young Charles Whittaker. In 1984, Ebanks and the association hosted legendary fighter Muhammad Ali.
In 1986, he was awarded the Certificate and Badge of Honour. During Prince Andrew’s visit in 1999, Ebanks received the designation of Member of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his long service as a parliamentarian and his commitment to the development of boxing in the Cayman Islands.
He was also named Sportsman of the Year by the West Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1986.
Two years after his death in 2006, the doors were officially opened on Cayman’s new boxing gym by the then sports minister, Alden McLaughlin, and well as Ebanks’ widow and fellow parliamentarian, Esther Ebanks.
Nayon Anglin – a mainstay in Cayman’s current boxing scene – was among Ebanks’ closest friends in the sport.
In fact, Anglin began coaching in a tiny eight-person gym by the clock tower in George Town after Ebanks’ death, picking up right where he left off.
In 2017, the association was renamed and incorporated as the Cayman Islands Boxing Association, one of the first entities to register as a non-profit charities under the Non-Profit Organisations Law. It is a member of the International Boxing Association and American Boxing Confederation, both governing bodies for amateur boxing,
The D. Dalmain Boxing Gymnasium is considered one of the best boxing facilities in the region. The gym has served as a training home for some of Cayman’s most accomplished boxers, including Charles Whittaker; Commonwealth Games attendees Dariel Ebanks, Brandy Barnes and Tafari Ebanks; Caribbean champions Alexander Smith and Chambria Dalhouse; and other professional fighters like Peter Lewison and Bruce ‘Lee’ Coulson.
The gym is also home to the CIBA after-school boxing programme and adult fitness-training classes.