On Target, Sports
December 10, 2021
Local Boxing on standing eight count

On Target continues its look into those national sporting associations here in St Vincent and the Grenadines which have displayed a protracted tolerance and fully embracing of tardiness.
Let the truth be known, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Boxing Association takes the cake when it relates to governance.

From not holding local championships, having little activities, no aggressive membership drive, no administrative structure, the SVG Boxing Association bears them all and more.

Yes, there has been travails over the procurement of suitable venue to erect a Boxing ring, as the sport cannot strive and progress without this most important facility.

But as the problems and woes mounted, the association has been able to access equipment regularly from the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

These intervals of assistance have been coupled with some participation at regional and sub-regional Boxing championships, along with an intermittent staging of workshops for grassroots and novice boxers.

However, things went from bad to worse, as optimism faded, energies became sapped, personnel moved on to more productive endeavours as promises of a better dawn for Boxing never materialised.

As it has stood for more than a decade, the association has been a two-man show. As such, only president – Winston Telesford and his vice-president, Junior Assing, were in the ring of administration.

Undoubtedly, these two men have the sport at heart, despite their short comings. Hence, they cannot be faulted for their passion and commitment to Boxing.

In spite of things going awry, Assing, in his capacity as coach, has been carrying out some functions and ensures that the sport has some visibility.

One just has to peer under the canopy of the Bishop’s College Kingstown on afternoons, to see Assing working out with a few boxers (young and seasoned).

Indeed, this is an act of commitment and perseverance, as amidst the poor state of affairs of the sport, he is soldering on.

Apart from Assing’s efforts, there still remain boxers who have some interest in the sport, even albeit for recreational and keep-fit purposes.

But that is where everything starts and stops currently, as there is no administrative framework, stakeholders and more so, no guidance.

Whilst everyone would want to concede that in all facets of life, there are cycles. But even as we accept this truism, one cannot hold aloft the fact that Boxing for far too long, has not been not contributing to the national sporting landscape and social cohesion.

In listing all the woes, critically the question must be asked, how has the sport reach this point of almost abeyance?

A portion of the blame must be placed at the feet of Telesford and Assing, as they have basically been holding on to a non-progressive organisation.

Equally too, successive executives of the national Olympic movement here, must hold themselves culpable for the state of affairs relative to the administration of Boxing.

It is known that efforts have been made to have the Boxing officials get their act together. To what extent was the insistence, is another matter.

The SVG Boxing Association, in spite of its plethora of pitfalls, inclusive of incomplete executive, no championships, among other flaunts of governance protocols, was allowed to be affiliated to the SVG Olympic Committee.

Things came to a head, when the SVG Boxing Association received a suspension by the AIBA during the course of this year. This has pricked the SVGOC’s hierarchy to begin to be somewhat forceful, at least it may seem.

That punch by the AIBA put the association on the canvas, resulting in its non-participation in the recently Annual General Meeting of the SVGOC, last month.

Reports that a meeting was held with the Boxing president recently to lay down the facts of the impact of their suspension by the AIBA, and the way forward, are steps in the right direction.
It is pointless pouring new wine in an old bottle, as Boxing has suffered many body blows, so much so that its severe battering has left the sport down for the count.

The solution for Boxing is simple. A whole new approach, a new set of personnel and a new commitment.

Inheriting a rotten, dilapidated house, is one which no one would readily stretch out and crave to add his/her asset base, more so, dwell in.

Regaining public confidence, that of the regional Boxing set, as well as the international body, would be a task of herculean proportions.

The ask is a tall order, but this column is confident that there are a few good men and women who have not thrown in their administrative towel, and are willing to enter the duel to restore pride to SVG’s Boxing.

Any longer wait would result in a knock-out for Boxing in St Vincent and the Grenadines.