US Embassy sponsors boxing training sessions in Jamaica in partnership with Fight for Peace, Humpty Dumpty Institute

By Sports Desk November 19, 2023

The United States Embassy in Jamaica sponsored the USA-based Humpy Dumpty Institute (HDI) that partnered with Fight for Peace and the Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA) to provide boxing training at three venues, namely Denham Town Community Centre, Portmore and Montego Bay between November 14 and 19.

The HDI brought along a trainer and two accomplished female boxers to demonstrate their skills and assist with the training sessions.

The first two-day session on Tuesday and Wednesday last week was held at the Denham Town Community Centre and was preceded by a short launch on Tuesday morning where the parties - the US Embassy, the HDI, Fight for Peace and the JBA highlighted the benefits to be derived from the sessions.

Acting Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, Gabriel Hurst said, "The support that we have towards the programme is a clear example of our steadfast support to Jamaica's bright future. Our overall training objective is the development of a safer, stronger and more secure Jamaica. (I am) really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that it’s going to have."

Lennox Blackmoore of the HDI decided to bring the programme to Jamaica, "Because Jamaica has good athletes and so we decided to try Jamaica."

Blackmoore along with another trainer Timor Juhasz and the female boxers Ronica Jeffrey and Jenna Gaglioti began the training session with an intense exercise session with the group of aspiring male and female boxers who are part of the Fight for Peace Programme on the island. They were supported by a number of local trainers headed by accomplished local boxer Sakima Mullings.

 Blackmoore, a former British Commonwealth champion is from Guyana where he won his country’s lightweight and light middleweight titles during the 1970s. He now operates out of the Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, New York.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey was happy to share her knowledge with the young boxers. "We are here to teach the boys and the girls' defensive work and the skill of boxing. I think that boxing is such a great sport for young people. It directs them in a safe direction to relieve their anger or just to have something that can show them discipline."

For her part, Gaglioti believes that boxing “is a sport for your mental health, for your emotional health. It does have the kids stay off the streets, stay disciplined and that's what we want to teach the kids also."

Rasheed Evans who recently graduated from Mona High School welcomed the training sessions, adding that he likes the sport and plans to become a professional. "It has helped me to become a better person. It has helped me to motivate myself better. It has helped me to understand life and how it works," he said.

  Mark Cole, the programme coordinator for Fight for Peace and who also works in a number of inner-city communities, using boxing and martial arts to guide young people to make better life decisions, detailed some of the components of the training.

"We will be doing biographies of some of the great boxers, walking them through some basic boxing techniques as well as have some advanced boxers do some advanced training, and exposing them to the different boxing styles and what it takes to become a professional boxer."

He believes the presence of the two female boxers will help to empower aspiring female boxers to help them take the sport seriously.

According to Stephen 'Bomber' Jones, president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, the sessions will help increase awareness about the sport across the island.

 "We are grateful that this is happening. It's in line with what we have been pushing in terms of expanding the footprints of the sport. The boxing board is here to facilitate the programmes that we have in terms of what you see happening here through Fight for Peace.

“They are here to benefit from the two-day clinic and then we move to Fun Robics Gym in Portmore and then in Montego Bay where we have another national gym where Jasmine Graham will be leading the charge for the girls and boys there."

 This boxing program is the third to be implemented by HDI. The first was held in the Dominican Republic in 2022 and the second one was with female boxers in the Palestinian territories in February of this year.

They were all done with the support of the US Embassy.



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