Boxing gym gets a facelift

| 28/11/2018
CNS Local Life

The boxing gym being spruced up

(CNS Local Life): The Cayman Islands Boxing Association (CIBA) has spent this year upgrading its national training facility, the D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gymnasium,  at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex as well as revamping programmes. In a strategy aimed at “getting back to boxing”, the association has been “heavily investing in grassroots initiatives and collaborating with schools, with the  aim of strengthening our offerings at all ability levels and encouraging participation of young adults”, stated CIBA in a press release.

Early in 2018, second vice president Tristan Wesenhagen worked with the government’s educational counsellor Dr Stephanie Edwards to launch the “Fit Mind” programme aimed at building participants’ socio-emotional skills and confidence through sport, the release said. Over the eight-week pilot programme, outcome data showed improvement in all areas with the largest gains noted in behaviour, CIBA said in the release.

Based on that assessment, CIBA invested in its grassroots programmes, and now offers bespoke services to Fit Mind, John Gray High School and Hope Academy, in addition to its long-running YMCA extended after-school initiative. CIBA said in the release that it intends to expand its programmes to include more schools.

These initiatives have also required increased participation from volunteers and coaches and led to implementing a “train the trainer” programme, enabling young Caymanian boxers including Blayze Wood, Sabien Barnes and Theodore Kelly, to be trained to run sessions and be supported by CIBA to earn certification.

“Grassroots are a fundamental part of our association, which have been previously overlooked,” CIBA said in the press release. “We need to cultivate boxers at younger ages to allow our national team programming to flourish with well-rounded, disciplined boxers. In a move to encourage participation, we have expanded our outreach with bespoke offerings and upgraded our facility and equipment.”

In thanking the government for its support, CIBA noted “our gymnasium is one of the best boxing training facilities in the Caribbean, but it was in need of some tender loving care”.

The association added that one of its training partners, Cayman law firm Broadhurst LLC, noticed its new initiatives and volunteered to assist.

“Over the course of a five-week period Broadhurst employees worked with CIBA to clean, pressure wash and paint the facilities and also sponsored the installation of a new sign,” the association said, adding, “We are so grateful for their assistance in creating a new more inviting place to train. Local artists also crafted bespoke motivational artwork on the interior.”

The facilities are also being used by the Cayman Islands Darts Association and the Special Olympics Cayman Islands, so it was “perfect timing to upgrade the equipment and design”, CIBA said.

Kyle Broadhurst, Broadhurst managing partner, said the firm’s employees “love boxing training”, adding, “(W)e have seen firsthand the great work that the team at the Boxing Association are doing with their youth programmes and certification for young trainers. Broadhurst LLC are always keen to support Caymanian youth and community initiatives, we even had one of the young national boxing team members intern with our firm. Providing sponsorship for a more welcoming training environment was something that we were delighted to do.”

For more information on CIBA’s programming, training facilities or sponsorship opportunities, go to the association’s Facebook page or email

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Category: Boxing, Sports

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