The Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA) and the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport hosted their first boxing officials graduation under the recently announced partnership to train officials for the sport, and announced a fight card under the Gloves Over Guns initiative. The event was held on Tuesday on the college campus.
Twenty trainee officials began the one-month intensive course from October 13 to November 5, totalling eight sessions, while 13 completed it and were part of the graduation exercise.
JBA's Kevin Stupart, an AIBA trained and certified instructor, conducted the training course.
"We covered the duties and responsibilities of referee and judge," he said. "We look at things the referee should do before the bout, during the bout and after the bout. The reason we break that down in three segments was for ease and simplicity in terms of teaching it and letting them understand the different fundamentals as it related to boxing officiating."
Stupart says that six males and an unprecedented seven females graduated. He praised the group for their interest in the sport while saying that this can only lead to its growth.
Toniann Lindsay, one of the female trainee who graduated from the course, said, "I am really pleased with the course. I wanted to be certified at the end. I wanted to be one that pass, I didn't want to be come through and drop out because it wasn't just 13 of us that started the course but 13 of us finish strong. We learned a lot in this course. We learned the roles and responsibilities of both being a judge and a referee. We learned about fair plays. We learned about the scoring of the game. It was a very interesting course and I am so elated to be here right now at this ceremony collecting my certificate."
JBA President Stephen Jones and GC Foster Athletic Director Chester McCarthy both welcomed the first cohort of trainees who completed the training under the joint arrangement and said that it was a good day for the growth and development of boxing in Jamaica.
"That will first of all allow us to have more activity on the same evening or closer bouts, week to week as we are looking to have closer bouts now," Jones said. "It will open our mind, expand our thinking as we try and get into high school boxing where we could have officials at multiple venues so now that we have 13 officials graduating today [Tuesday] its huge. The graduates are very excited. They are young, enthusiastic and they are willing to work so starting from this Friday they will be in the ring. Jones also said "we will be having a 10-bout Gloves Over Guns fight card from the most novice boxer to a pro fight."
McCarthy said it's a good feeling to have partnered with the JBA to train the youngsters.
"I am extremely elated for the primary reason that this is the first time in five or six years that we have been able to train a fresh set of officials for boxing here in Jamaica," he said.
The fight night, which will see some of the trainees entering the ring to conduct official duties, will be held at GC Foster tonight at 7 pm. The 10-card bout was announced by Felipe Sanchez of the JBA. There will be nine amateur fights and one professional bout between Jermaine ''Breezy'' Richards and Mason ''Common Fowl'' Brown.