Young boxers get tips from Toastmasters

| 15/05/2018
CNS Local Life

Michael Person (right) in a bout with Deandre Rowe at the D. Dalmain Ebanks boxing gym

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Boxing Association (CIBA) recently partnered with Toastmasters International clubs on the island to run an eight-week youth leadership programme aimed at providing young people with the experience of running a formal meeting and undertaking various roles such as president and secretary.

Toastmasters is a non-profit educational organisation that operates clubs worldwide to help members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills, and has five clubs in Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman, Eminent, Eloquent Speakers, Scotia Pioneers and Cayman Islands Government.

During the programme there were opportunities for the young people to step out of their comfort zones and make presentations in small group settings, stated a press release. They also learned from guest speakers such as Miss Teen Cayman. Each participant was provided with a mentor to provide support and advice through the process and to maximise the learning opportunities available.

Graduating from the youth leadership programme are three boxing national team representatives: Alexander Smith (18) a Caribbean Championships gold medallist and CIBA/Security Centre Apprenticeship participant, and novice boxers Michael Person (16) of Cayman Islands Further Education Centre and Finn Millward (16) of Cayman Prep and High School.

Millward said of the course, “It was a great experience where you are in a completely caring and kind environment and it really helps you to learn the skills to speak in public.” Person agreed, saying, “The Toastmasters helped me to improve my communication skills and confidence.”

Noting that as a new initiative there were some setbacks, CIBA president Leyla Jackson explained, “It fell at the same time as a major international training camp and the Commonwealth Games, so the number of team members on island was smaller than we would have hoped.

“However, we are delighted that three of our young national team have graduated from the course and we hope that we will be able to build from this and repeat it for the benefit of more participants in the future.”

Jackson added, “From the perspective of the Boxing Association, courses like this are extremely valuable, not just as educational elements which contribute to our work-based initiatives that we are attempting to promote, but also we have to remember that these boxers are young people who travel to represent their country.

“At some point, they will be required to speak to the media or to sports representatives. They are ambassadors for their country. Giving them national pride and the ability to represent themselves professionally and with confidence, is almost as important as their performance in the ring. It will also stand them in good stead for their future careers as sports people, coaches or in the world of business.”

CIBA run national team training and an afterschool programme weekday afternoons and evenings from the D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gymnasium in the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

For information on how to become a participant, partner or sponsor, email Leyla Jackson or go to CIBA’s Facebook page. For more information on Toastmasters International, call 928-4800 or email the organisation


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Category: Boxing, Sports

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