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The "Latest" on Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Star Ria Ramnarine
by Sue TL Fox
April 26, 2014


(APR 26)  WBAN recently contacted Trinidad and Tobago's boxing star Ria Ramnarine to get the latest scoop on what she has been doing "in" and "out" of the ring----and also to invite Ramnarine to the  International Women's Boxing Hall of Fame inaugural induction ceremony which takes place on July 10, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Induction ceremony will take place during the 2014 USA Golden Gloves tournament hosted by Bonnie Canino.  Many of the world's pioneers, stalwarts and pillars of women boxing will be present.

When WBAN asked Ramnarine to be a special guest, she  expressed delight and said she was humbled and privileged to have received the invitation.

WBAN recognizes the valid contribution Ramnarine has made in the sport and believes she is very much a pioneer and an ambassador of boxing in her own country as well as the Caribbean region, and as such we are looking forward to her presence at this occasion.

In talking with Ria about her boxing career, she told WBAN that It has been a while since she has stepped into the square circle.   This is mainly due to the fact that Ria is now an AIBA certified coach and as well as the fact that time does not permit her to dedicate the hours for the training necessary for competition.

At the moment, twenty-four hours is not near enough for the world boxing champ to fulfill all her roles and responsibilities. She is doing a full-time Physical Training Instructor course five days a week at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus as well as some weekends which are spent officiating or assisting in sports events throughout Trinidad.

While it may sound impossible, Ria also has to find time for her other course Advanced Sports Management Course (ASMC), an International Olympic Committee offered course. She is happy that the ASMC is nearing completion. But despite the relief she will have from that completion, she still has to balance her time between her PTI course, working on evenings, having her physiotherapy sessions and assisting in both administration and training at the gym.

I asked her how in the world does she accomplish all of those things, and she said, "I don't know.   At times I flop out while studying at night. Half the time I sleep at my desk. Sometimes on the way to my clients home, [as a personal trainer] I pull into a hotel parking lot or supposedly safe area and take a 15 minute nap in my car."  

As for keeping busy in the gym, Ramnarine said due to a leg injury it prevents her from training to full capacity.  Instead she spends more time working with the upcoming boxers, especially the kids and the females.

For the better part of 2013, Ramnarine was plunged into the capacity of Assistant Coach, then National Coach for the female amateur boxing team. Still fresh from being a competitor herself at the time, she had to find the balance between coach and student.

Ria told WBAN, "Being a coach is more difficult than being the athlete. As an athlete, your focus is YOU. The focus of your team is you. Most things are done with you in mind. You can go to your coach with your fears and grievances. Yes, you have to train, put out the sweat and tears. You have sacrifices to make. But in the end, your name is called when you win, your name makes the headlines, your photo graces the television and newspapers. So there are the rewards and fame so to speak. Being a coach is totally different. It is almost a thankless job. You have to know each of your athletes individually, you have to cater to their needs, you act as parent, coach, friend, even tyrant at times too. You cant open up about your fears to your students, instead you have to be the pillar of strength for them. Despite how many blunders they make, in and out the ring, you still find yourself making every sacrifice for them. You always want to give them another chance. Of course, there are the occasions when you feel rewarded when one of your charges has made progress, has won a match or simply looks at you with glee after a good training session."

Ria said that she always told her own coach, Bharrath Ramoutar, that she never wanted to coach. Simply because she felt she will demand too much from her athletes. Having had to struggle for her place in the world of boxing, and to reach her own fullest potential, she understands exactly what it takes to be an elite athlete.

"Ill expect nothing less from my charges.  But working with the girls has proven to me just how different and difficult it can be from on the other side", added Ria.

In closing, Ria said that she sees coaching as a challenge, but having learned a lot from Ramoutar as well as her foreign based coach, American Bonnie Canino, she said she is up to the challenge."

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