Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games
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Preparation for the Pan American Youth Games in Colombia next month has begun in earnest for T&T.

Juan Rodriguez is the lone boxer to qualify for T&T, and on Tuesday he left for a two-week live-in camp in Guyana with coach Kirt Sinnette to continue their preparation.

Cecil Forde, president of the T&T Boxing Association (TTBA), explained the reasons why Guyana was the destination of choice for the training camp, noting that the large volume of boxers in Guyana, will increase the quality of glove-work that Rodriguez needs ahead of the Games.

He also explained that T&T and Guyana have shared a good relationship in the sport in the past.  

Rodriguez, a competitor in the flyweight (48-52kg) division, punched his ticket to the games in Cali, Colombia, by defeating Wayne Castello of Guyana by a third-round stoppage. With the victory, Rodriguez earned the right to face-off with Luis Alvarez of Colombia in the quarterfinals, which he eventually lost.

Rodriguez's coach Sinnette, was also carefully picked, being one of only four boxers from T&T to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Forde told Guardian Media Sports yesterday that Rodriguez is among a group of young boxers being prepared for the future.

"Three other boxers currently at the AIBA World Championships, Anthony Joseph, Donnell Phillips and Blessing Waldrop will be joined by Rodriguez in the group, ahead of the ultimate goal which is the Olympic Games in France.

"Before that, however, there will be other tournaments to compete in, inclusive of the Commonwealth Games next year, the Pan American Games, the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC), and the Continental Championships that boxers will be required to perform at in preparation for France," Forde explained.

At the World Championship in Belgrade, Serbia, Joseph was the only boxer from T&T to have progressed from the first round, courtesy of a walk-over victory over Niven Chemben of Mauritius.

The TTBA's development programme, according to Forde, also includes a currently-ongoing live-in camp for female boxers in Ireland, which is currently being attended by Tianna Guy.

She is targeting action at the AIBA World Female Championships in Turkey at the end of the year. Funding for Guy's camp came through the Ministry of Sports and Community Development's Elite Athletes Funding process, while the Guyana camp was covered by the T&T Olympic Committee.