Thirteen persons trained as boxing officials graduated from an intensive three-week course at the GC Foster College on Tuesday and some are set to get their first jobs on a 10 fight-card to be staged this Friday under the Jamaica Boxing Board’s Gloves Over Guns initiative .
Twenty applicants had enrolled in the course that ran from October 13 to November 5. However, six men and seven women completed the course. It was the first time that these many women were being trained as boxing officials in Jamaica.
“We covered the duties and responsibilities of referees and judges. We looked at things the referee should do before the bout, during the bout and after the bout,” said Kevin Stupart, AIBA certified instructor, who conducted the course.
“The reason we broke that down into three segments was for ease and simplicity in terms of teaching it and letting them understand the different fundamentals as it relates to boxing officiating.”
Toniann Lindsay, one of the graduates expressed her satisfaction at being able to complete the intensive course.
“I wanted to be one that passed. I didn’t want to come through and drop out because it wasn’t just 13 of us that started the course but 13 of us finished strong,” she said.
“We learned a lot in this course. We learned the roles and responsibilities of both being a judge and a referee. It was a very interesting course and I am so elated to be here right now at this ceremony collecting my certificate. (I) look forward to Friday as we will also be displaying what we have learned. I just want to thank everyone who made this possible.”
Jamaica Boxing Board President Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones and Chester McCarthy, Athletic Director at GC Foster College both welcomed the first cohort of trainees.
“This 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 remarked.
“It will open our minds, expand our thinking as we try and get into high school boxing where we could have officials at multiple venues. Now that we have 13 officials graduating, 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.”
McCarthy, meanwhile, expressed similar sentiments.
“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.
It’s an extremely good feeling to have partnered with the Jamaica Boxing Association to train these youngsters.”
Come Friday, there will be nine amateur fights and a professional fight between Jermaine ‘Breezy’ Richards and Mason ‘Common Fowl’ Brown.