(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.
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 can’t 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
"I’ll 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
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."