September 18, 2020

Kids are boxing clever at summer camp

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From Left: Thomas C. Ebanks Jr. Gym President, Coach Tracey Seymour, Coach Norman Wilson, Javier Ardila, and Coach Timothy Ebanks

Judging by the big smiles on their faces, kids had a knockout time at D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym’s summer camp.

Over forty kids from six years old and up were having lots of fun learning to box, at the gym’s first-ever summer camp for kids.

Camp supervisor and gym President Thomas C. Ebanks Jr. said, “We put on the camp to give the kids something to do during their summer vacation. We realised during these economic times we needed to give parents a positive environment to enroll their kids in for the summer. Its completely free and we provide breakfast and lunch every day,” he said.

The camp is run by the Department of Sport, who have subsidised all the gym’s programmes since the previous government built the gym in 2009, Mr. Ebanks said.

“It’s a great avenue for us to reach young potential boxers and get them interested in the sport,” Mr. Ebanks added.

“What makes the programme so beneficial is we have four former junior boxers assisting Coach Norman Wilson with delivering the programme,” he said.

The gym also holds an after-school programme five days a week, during term time. They have also introduced the sport to Red Bay, Sir John A. Cumber, and George Town Primary Schools.

Regular boxing training offers many benefits to kids, Mr. Ebanks believes.

“It teaches them to control aggression, and gives them an avenue to vent their frustration, and teaches them how to live with people despite their differences,” he said.

Nine-year old Joshua McField and 11-year old Aman Abdul-Hakim were all smiles after their match.  Aman said, “I have enjoyed the camp because I’ve learned stuff and it was fun.”

Ten-year old Javier Ardila was commended by coaches Norman Wilson and Tracey Seymour because he was prepared to have a match with a girl, 9-year old Kamaya Samuels who won. But there were no hard feelings afterwards and again it was all smiles.

“You learn a lot of things about boxing. It’s a fun sport.” Javier said.

“I only started this week. My cousin said I should come along. I think it’s educational and fun, and I am going to go to the after-schools programme.” added Kamaya.

Fifteen-year old Sivia Rudon, one of the seven girl boxers at the camp said, “I like boxing because it makes me feel more empowered. When the girls came to the camp, a lot of the boys were saying, “they’re girls. They’re not going to do anything,’ then after a while, they saw we were just as good as them.”

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