Canada Fund for Local Initiatives donates Ca$15,000 to JBBC for MoBay boxing gym

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives donates Ca$15,000 to JBBC for MoBay boxing gym

Observer West writer

Thursday, March 05, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives has donated Ca$15,000 to the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control to provide equipment for its boxing gym at the Montego Bay Cricket Club in the resort city.

The donation, aimed at kick-starting the board's Gloves over Guns programme, was made at the Montego Bay Cricket Club on Saturday.

Canadian High Commissioner Laurie Peters who attended the ceremony, expressed her continued interest in a safer Jamaica and committed to support initiatives which will enhance the lives of Jamaicans.

“Any initiatives that can empower youth and can discipline youth and can give them the confidence to bring the battles out from the streets into a ring, is something that really makes a lot of good sense,” Peters argued.

“It is not a lot of money, but it is money that goes to make communities small projects have big impact on the lives of the citizens of Jamaica. We look for projects that empower youth. We look for projects that might make a more safe and secure Jamaica.”

The programme is a collaboration with the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control and the Mentoring Juniors Kids Organisation (MJKO), which is a non-profit charity based in Toronto, Canada.

Stephen Jones, president of the JBBC, said under the initiative, counseling, and mentorship sessions will be offered to participants.

“This is not just a boxing gym, but it will be a hub for the Gloves over Guns programme. For the kids to box, they have to sign up for the counseling sessions and mentorship programme. Ideally, if we are going to help the country, then we have to spread it to as many communities around the country. I expect that this will be the fastest growing facility here, and I'm hoping that we can replicate in other parishes,” he argued.

Leroy Brown, general secretary of the JBBC, noted that since the closure of the Dragon Gym in Montego Bay, the resort city has been without “a real boxing gym”, as he stressed the importance of the facility at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.

“We didn't want to keep boxing concentrated in Kingston. The whole idea is to have boxing right throughout Jamaica. We are hoping that other sponsors will come on board,” he argued.

Dr Calvin Young, the integrative psychologist assigned to the programme, and who will be focused on the counselling and mentorship aspect of the initiative, explained that the sessions offered will be designed based on the family background of the youth.

“One of the things that I find when working with young people is that I cannot separate the young person from the family. I also have to address as much as we can the family dynamics as well. The truth is, you cannot separate the youth from the family or from the society in which they exist,” he said.

Minister of Science, Technology, and Energy, Fayval Williams, who was also in attendance at the ceremony, endorsed the initiative.

“I am in support of any programme that can grab the young people and give them a different way of life and a different way of thinking, something to engage them, I know it will be very useful. Young people, you have a chance of a lifetime, take it, grab a hold of it,” she urged.

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