Barbados’ top female boxer Kimberly Gittens is the first-ever chair of the athletes’ commission established November 2020 by the Barbados Boxing Association (BBA).
Gittens, a Central American and Caribbean Games bronze medallist, will hold the position as chair of the athletes’ commission for the next two years. This is to foster a stronger communication bond between national boxers and the BBA executive led by president Richard Atwell.
“The commission is important because it gives the boxers a direct link to the association. It also allows for athletes’ input into the planning process of the BBA. Lastly, it gives the athletes a voice, a medium to be heard.
The commission is relatively new, so the boxers are now feeling out the existence of the commission. I know that the athletes have nominated who they believe is more suitable for the postings, which identifies a significant level of trust,” Gittens told Barbados TODAY.
Gittens who turned 29 this past Saturday, February 6, has represented Barbados in several international bouts and is hoping for a shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
“Training as it stands is very difficult. The pugilists for the 2020 Olympics are now in the process of trying to get overseas to facilitate training. But as it stands, training for boxers is on a massive pause. And the level of uncertainty really dampens the way forward.
“The main goal for 2021 is the Olympics. This new posting has also given me the opportunity to assist the BBA in creating a road map for the boxers at all levels. So those are my two main focuses this year.
“I’m very confident in being selected despite the challenges… The main hurdle for Barbados however is the qualification element for the sport. However, I am still confident that we can get the job done but we need to act now as we are running out of time,” Gittens said.
She added: “Covid, as a Bajan would put it, truly ‘skin up the place’ and it’s sad to say, that only countries with the strong financial backing and facilitates are able to put things in place to ensure that their athletes continue training etc. Barbados does not fall under that category but the authorities are doing all they can to assist their athletes.”
Coached by Gary Bowen (head coach) and Laurence Hunte (technical coach), Gittens who is now based at Fit and Fit Gym said she was worried as borders continue to remain close because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As it relates to mental preparedness, I am concerned at this moment about the amount of time we have left. Although the entire world is on pause, I know that Barbados is behind.
“Travels are uncertain at this point. The association is trying its best to get their boxers overseas. But the environment is not allowing us to plan for certain as borders from other countries close,” she explained.