CHAIRMAN of the Central America and Caribbean region of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Boxu Potts has made a request to the Prime Minister to allow boxing to be held in the Sea Lots Boxing community.
Over the last two months, videos have been circulating on social media of boxing matches there, which have attracted attention from the public.
Soca artiste Swappi, who grew up in Sea Lots, has been supporting the initiative.
But the boxing events have faced some backlash, as large crowds have gathered during the covid19 pandemic to watch the matches.
Potts, a supporter of the Sea Lots boxing community, believes with a proper structure in place the event can be held.
In a letter sent to Dr Rowley on Monday, Potts said, “The WBC takes cognizance of the devastating impact the covid19 pandemic has wreaked throughout the world and right here in Trinidad and Tobago over the last 21 months.
“Although victory at home has not yet been achieved, the WBC notes several encouraging measures taken by your administration to relax some restrictions to ease our society into some semblance of normalcy.”
Potts knows returning to a level of normaliyy has elements of risk.
“Honourable Prime Minister, you are well aware that almost every sector of the economy has been set back by the deadly pandemic and we are not envious of the huge responsibility you bear in making the hard decisions to balance economic recovery, the return to our way of life, the health and well being of the citizenry and the burden on our healthcare system.”
Giving details of efforts to be made to make boxing a safe environment, Potts said, “While we understand the rationale behind the decision to suspend team sports, the WBC hopes to convince you that boxing, more than any other sport, is better positioned to be reintegrated into society at short notice. Indeed, in the execution of a boxing match, fewer than ten individuals are in close proximity with each other at any point in time.
“In fact, the only two persons who make close bodily contact are the boxers themselves, and their respective support staff (three persons maximum). Apart from the boxers, the referee is in the ring, and judges may be positioned a safe distance away. It is therefore clear that this sport, unlike so many others – especially team sports – presents significantly lower risks of infection and transmission of the covid19 virus.”
A few sports have been allowed to be played regularly in TT in recent months, including golf and tennis. More than a month ago the Government made the decision to open more businesses, including gyms, casinos and cinemas, for vaccinated people at 50 per cent capacity.
Potts said the boxing event can follow that trend.
“Honourable Prime Minister, the covid19 protocols drawn up by our organisation and submitted to your good office addresses all of the concerns of the Ministry of Health for a safe return of boxing. These protocols mandate the participation of only fully vaccinated participants including all officials involved in the particular programme to minimise the risk of the spread of covid19.”
Medical personnel will ensure covid19 protocols are followed.
“The health requirements of boxing are unique in being the most stringent and precise of all sports requiring clean bills of health from each participant, and the presence of doctors ringside to attend to any emergency and to ensure compliance with all protocols.”
Potts said the WBC is hoping for “some relief” for the young athletes after almost two years living in a pandemic.