The Jamaica Boxing Board and GC Foster College on Wednesday announced a partnership to develop and grow the sport of boxing on the island and the wider Caribbean. Under the partnership agreement, GC Foster, Jamaica’s only sports college, will become a hub for a national training programme as well as offer related coaching courses that will help raise the level of the sport.

Beyond that, GC Foster College will be the host of the Gloves over Guns initiative that aims to channel youth away from the negative influences of the community and onto a more progressive pathway. The Jamaica Boxing Board has already provided the college with equipment and a new ring is to be delivered in the near future to the tertiary institution will be afforded national gym status.

“I think we can expect to change the game for the sport of boxing not only in Jamaica but in the Caribbean.  GC Foster College speaks for itself.  What they do for the community and the country, aligning with an institution like that is only going to raise our game, raise our level in terms of the boxing that we have here, the coaches that we have access to, the officials that we have access to in terms of recruiting and have a hub which we can train from a national programme, which we can invite international bodies to come and do courses here and to have it elevate our sport on that level,” said boxing board president Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones.

“Then the fact that GC Foster has agreed to be the hub for Gloves Over Guns in Spanish Town where we can do the sport for development and deal with the boys and girls here, have them a part of the invitationals and have them a part of the mentorship programme I think is going to go a long way so we are very, very excited.”

Principal of GC Foster Maurice Wilson said he is looking forward to the opportunities that will be afforded to the youth in the parish.

“I am extremely excited for the community of GC Foster College and its environs – Spanish Town and indeed St. Catherine.  I think this was a venture long in waiting.  I do believe the benefits are going to supersede the time that we waited,” said Wilson.

“We have seen where boxing would have changed the lives of so many youngsters. Sonny Liston, who had numerous problems with the law, became heavyweight champion and it helped him somewhat. Mike Tyson, Cassius Clay later Mohamed Ali, who really stood up against certain things, however, they thought that he was breaking the law but boxing was able to guide him along a particular pathway.

“We are cognizant of some of the factors facing youngsters in Jamaica.  We are sure that with the collaboration of the boxing board we will be able to give the youngsters greater opportunities, we will give them options in terms of career, becoming a professional boxer, we will engage them in their extra-curricular activities that are done in a more purposeful way and the fact that the boxing board is providing relevant and current equipment will make it even so much easier."

The GC Foster principal says he expects nothing but success from the partnership.

 “We also believe that if there is any institution in Jamaica, that can provide the proper base, the proper support, that institution would be GC Foster.  So we are extremely happy about the collaboration.  GC Foster will benefit.  Jamaica will benefit.  The youngsters in this country will benefit and overall the economy can benefit because as you know professional boxers that do well make a lot of money.”

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has said that every arriving athlete from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be greeted by her on arrival.

Maurice Wilson, principal of Jamaica’s G.C. Foster College and a national team coach, has described recently deceased Calabar jumps coach Nicholas Neufville as a trainer that had limitless potential.

Neufville was found dead on Monday morning, in an open lot in Portmore, St Catherine, alongside a female passenger.  The athletics coach was 38 years old.

Up to the time of his death, Neufville had worked as part of the successful Calabar high school program and the newly formed Legacy Track Club.  Neufville was, however, also involved with the national team and was part of the Jamaican delegation that participated at the Pan American Under 20 Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico in 2019.

“He became a part of that cadre of coaches that would have travelled with the junior teams over the years and there were great expectations for him moving forward,” Wilson told TVJ Sports.

“He was one of the best coaches in both the long and triple jump.  He coached at the high school level, but his skills and skillsets could have taken him anywhere,” he added.

Before going on to be part of the multi-title winning Calabar high school team, Neufville had previously represented the corporate area high school.

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