Trinidad And Tobago’s (T&T) first female world boxing champion, Ria Ramnarine has been quite busy lately, albeit out of the ring. Having recently attended the WBC Convention in Mexico on her own steam, Ria said she was inspired by the boxing greats she met, including the legend, Muhammad Ali, women boxing.com reports.
“While there was no chance of speaking with him, his mere presence was an inspiration. Meeting so many other world champions was fantastic that it was almost overwhelming!”, added Ria.
Ria told WBAN, “I had the pleasure and privilege to interact with some of the best boxers in the world and I worked alongside some of them when we visited the Association of Parents with Mentally Handicapped Children. Champions like 2013 Gold Medalist Nicola Adams, Miguel Cotto, Terry Norris, Christy Martin, Mia St. John, Sharon Anyos and Alicia Ashley were present and the example set by these individuals both as athletes and humanitarians was very humbling.”
Ria said, “I also had the opportunity to meet folks like Jill Diamond, some of the friends I made on Facebook some years ago, Mary Ann Owen and Butch Gottlieb who consider me a daughter, and naturally I got a lot of new friends. The learning experience of the “business” of boxing was also crucial and it is something that I have benefitted from greatly”.
No stranger to displaying her own humanitarian side, Ramnarine is a founding member and Ambassador of The Crossroads Organisation (TCO), a young non-profit organisation whose stated mission is “to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need through direct aid or by acting as a conduit to other local, regional or international organizations which may be better able to assist.
Ria Assisted in Amateur Boxing Championships.
The Trinidad & Tobago National Amateur Boxing Championships took place from Jan 30 to Feb 3, 2013, and Ria assisted the Amateur Association with regards to media coverage. In an attempt to highlight all the gyms and boxers before the championships she visited a number of gyms throughout the island to gather information for the press. Many gyms and boxers who were never mentioned in the newspaper before suddenly found themselves being noticed and becoming the center of attention. Ria also arranged for radio and television interviews for the coaches and boxers and it was a successful plan. With their name being “out there”, they found added motivation. Ramnarine, a four time world champion, indicated that she was more than happy to work alongside the amateur boxers and the administrators.
She said, “This opportunity provided me with the perfect opportunity to give back to boxing in T&T and to build my experience at both the administrative and community level. The amateur boxers and their coaches were really pleased at seeing their names and photos in print. I have always maintained that sport is one’s ticket to the world. It brings communities, countries and the world together like nothing else can. T&T has an abundance of talent and I’d like to see it explored. The youth, young men and women need the avenues to harness and hone these talents”. She was also recruited by the television station ACTS 25 to do the commentary on the boxing matches.”
Having been applauded for her efforts as “media liaison officer”, Ria was publicly thanked and then asked to stay on for the Elite Female Continental Championships due to take place in May 2013 in Trinidad. She was also asked to handle the entire Marketing aspect of the championships but that is something she said she needed to consider seriously before giving an answer.
A Level one coach in boxing, Ramnarine is still very much active in training and said she will accept the opportunity to compete at any time. Based at Fine Line Fight Factory in Chaguanas, Trinidad and she trains five times a week. (When preparing for world title bouts, she makes the trip to Bonnie Canino’s gym which she considers her foreign based camp and second home).
“Training is a given. With or without any bouts in sight, I always prefer to maintain a certain level of fitness and to continue increasing my knowledge. And of course to keep my weight in check. Being in the gym consistently also gives me the opportunity to assist our amateur boxers”, added Ria.
Her coach, Bharrath Ramoutar, said that Ramnarine has no definite upcoming bouts so he is quite happy that she was involved in the National Championships and other endeavours. “Ria has recently completed two basic courses, Sport Administration and Business Communication, and has a genuine desire to make a difference to the nation’s youth so I am sure she will be an asset to T&T and boxing, both in and out of the ring.”
Ria is usually featured in Trinidad’s magazines and newspaper supplements, sometimes gracing the front pages or centerfolds. But quite by chance, she has now found herself on the other side of the camera. During her visits to the gyms, she was the “photographer”.
“I burrowed a camera to ensure I got good pics to send to the media. Then I fell in love with the darn camera (lol).. I’d always loved photography but could never afford a really good camera nor had I the time to do any courses. But with this cam, I’ve been taking really great shots. Lo and behold, I got my first official assignment on Friday 8th February. Yep, I got paid. Oh, and it was a football team I was shooting. The manager seemed pleased with the pics but I still have to get the official feedback. We’ll see how that goes”.
Ria is also a certified “Boxing For All” coach – having been certified by Bonnie Canino after completing the relevant courses. She trains private clients and includes a range of cardio, calisthenics, boxing and kickboxing exercises in her workouts.
“I think this year will be one where I choose what I will do after I retire. The Amateur Boxing Association has a lot of faith that I can make a major difference to boxing in T&T and they have been including me in a lot of their activities. I have the option to further my coaching courses as well and then my private practice with fitness has room to grow. My fiancé wants to open a business together as well, so I have a lot of good options. For the moment though, I’ll just keep exploring these options and see what works the best”. “I know it is pretty late for this, but I want to say Happy 2013 to the entire boxing fraternity and continued best wishes to you Sue and WBAN. You have been doing such a fantastic job and I do believe congratulations are in order for you and your team”, concluded Ria.
For the original report go to http://www.womenboxing.com/NEWS2013/news021213update-ria-ramnarine.htm