US Embassy partners with HDI to sponsor boxing training in Jamaica

November 26, 2023   -The US Embassy, in collaboration with the USA-based Humpy Dumpty Institute (HDI), has joined forces with Fight For Peace and the Jamaica Boxing Association (JBA) to provide boxing training at three locations in Jamaica.

These training sessions, which took place between November 14 and 19, received sponsorship from the US Embassy and aimed to enhance the skills and development of aspiring boxers.

HDI brought along a dedicated trainer and two accomplished female boxers to demonstrate their expertise and assist with the training sessions.

The first two-day training session commenced at the Denham Town Community Centre and began with a brief launch event. Representatives from the US Embassy, HDI, Fight for Peace, and the JBA discussed the potential benefits of these training sessions.

Commitment to Jamaica’s progress

Gabriel Hurst, Acting Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, expressed the embassy’s commitment to Jamaica’s progress, stating, “The support we provide to this program is a clear example of our unwavering commitment to Jamaica’s bright future. Our overarching training objective is to contribute to the development of a safer, stronger, and more secure Jamaica. I am eager to witness the positive impact this initiative will have.”

Lennox Blackmore, representing HDI, explained the decision to introduce the program to Jamaica, saying, “Jamaica has exceptional athletes, and we wanted to extend our efforts to Jamaica.” Blackmore, accompanied by another trainer, Timor Juhasz, and accomplished female boxers Ronica Jeffrey and Jenna Gaglioti, conducted intensive training sessions for both male and female aspiring boxers who are part of the Fight For Peace program in Jamaica. They received additional support from local trainers, led by accomplished local boxer Sakima Mullings.

Blackmore, a world-renowned boxer originally from Guyana, achieved titles such as the Guyanese lightweight title and Guyanese light middleweight title in the 1970s. He now operates out of Geleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York.

Ronica Jeffrey shared her perspective on the training: “We are here to teach the boys and girls defensive techniques and boxing skills. Boxing is a fantastic sport for young people. It provides a safe outlet for their energy and helps instill discipline.”

Positive impact on mental and emotional health

Jenna Gaglioti emphasized the sport’s positive impact on mental and emotional health, as well as its ability to keep young individuals disciplined and engaged in positive activities.

Rasheed Evans, a recent graduate from Mona High School, welcomed the training, expressing his eagerness to learn and his aspiration to go professional in the future. He acknowledged that boxing has played a significant role in his personal development.

Mark Cole, representing Fight For Peace, detailed the components of the training, which included studying biographies of renowned boxers, mastering basic boxing techniques, and offering advanced training to experienced participants. He emphasized the valuable presence of the two female boxers, which would empower aspiring female boxers to take the sport seriously.

Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, President of the JBA, expressed gratitude for the program’s implementation and its alignment with the organization’s goals of expanding the sport’s reach. He highlighted that the training sessions aimed to benefit participants and would continue at Fun Robics Gym in Portmore and in Montego Bay, where Jasmine Graham would lead the charge for both girls and boys.

This boxing program marks the third initiative implemented by HDI, following previous programs in the Dominican Republic in 2022 and with female boxers in the Palestinian territories in February of this year. All of these initiatives were made possible through the support of the US Embassy.

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