Boxing 2020 Olympic team could be in jeopardy

Boxing 2020 Olympic team could be in jeopardy
Photo: Derek Smith/BIS

BBF appealing to corporate Bahamas and private citizens

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas Boxing Federation (BBF) is appealing to corporate Bahamas and private citizens for help with its mission to get at least two boxers to Tokyo, Japan for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

BBF President Vincent Strachan said the federation has gotten little to no assistance from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture over the past year and doesn’t see any relief coming from the ministry in the near future. Because of this, Strachan said the BBF is taking the matter into its own hands by seeking funding to help get the two-man team to Tokyo next year.

Lennox Boyce has been selected to represent the country in the amateur boxing division, while Rashield Williams and Amron Sands will be vying for the final spot in the professional division.

Boyce and an eight-member team were slated to travel to Orlando, Florida to compete in a major tournament last weekend; however, Boyce made the trip alone due to a lack of funds. Strachan said that preparing for an Olympic run is nearly impossible with limited opportunities to take on international competition.

“We didn’t get any support from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture,” Strachan said. “I requested for the Director of Sports to pay for the flight tickets at BahamasAir from the federation’s annual grant, but it was denied as well as other requests made for assistance from the Ministry.

He continued: ‘We were told that it was denied because there are no provisions in the budget for such a proposal. Thankfully the Bahamas Olympic Committee and Aliv, we were able to accomplish some of our goals over the last year.

“Even when I requested our annual grant, it took almost a year to receive it. Further delays occurred when I requested our annual grant. It took almost a year to receive it.”

Boyce was scheduled to be in camp in Orlando, Florida up to the final trials in March 2020. That camp will cost approximately $20,000. The BBF also plans to host an international training program and show in November. This event is estimated to cost around $150,000. Strachan said both camps are now in jeopardy unless the federation can attract major sponsorship over the next few weeks.

“Along with those corporate sponsors we hope to gain, we are looking forward to the Ministry of Sports to become more proactive,” Strachan added. “We ask that they show greater interest in the local athletes and do not use personal vendettas against presidents of federations to deny athletes the opportunities they deserve.”