“SHAPE up or ship out!” Local boxing promoter Boxu Potts is appealing to all athletes especially to the national boxers vying for Tokyo Olympics qualification to improve their fitness level or be overlooked for national selection.
The national contingent consisting of nine boxers (seven males, two females), three coaches and a manager are currently in a training camp ahead of the two Olympic qualifiers, which begins in Argentina from March 26 to April 3.
Potts said, “We have boxers who are behaving like they are going to take a plane ride or to be in a place where they can get a per diem and a hotel stay. It is time we have national pride in representation of our country, we are ambassadors to the country when we go abroad.”
Commenting on what should be done, Potts said, “One thing that is very consistent is your cardio-vascular fitness and the barometer to measure that is the beep test. Being the former physical trainer for Jizelle Salandy, I never accepted anything less than 16 on the beep test from her ... I’m calling on the Minister of Sports Shamfa Cudjoe, SPORTT chairman Douglas Camacho, TTOC president Brian Lewis, Patrice Charles of Ministry of Sports to do a beep test of these boxers and it should be done in the eyes of the public.”
Speaking to all stakeholders in TT sports, Potts added, “All athletes across the board; their discipline should have a measurement for fitness before they can require State funds. It should be policy positioned at the Ministry of Sports whereas specific to your sport, you must make the required test to attain State funds. The beep test is specific to all sports because if you do not have cardio-vascular fitness, you don’t have nothing! I criticise no one, I call on all athletes to be fitter in order to be ambassadors of sport for your country.”
Addressing another topic, Potts said, “There should also be money management because we cannot ask the athletes to train hard and be fit without feeding them, so a nutrition programme should be in place. On another note, monies are spent on the administrators and not the athletes. The budget that the Boxing Amateur Association uses to hire friends should be done for boxers as it should be part of a nutritional and training programme.”
TT Olympic Qualifier Contingent
Athletes - Nigel Paul 91+kg, Cam Awesome 91kg, Andrew Fermin 81kg, Aaron Prince 75kg, Tyrone Thomas 69kg, Michael Alexander 64kg, Anthony Joseph 56kg, Tianna Guy 56kg, Jewel Lambert 48kg
Officials - Reynold Cox, Rawlson Dopwell and Anthony Waterman (coaches) Cecil Forde (manager)