Former world champion, Ria Ramnarine, has been extremely busy
this year. Ramnarine is now a certified 3-Star AIBA Coach. She
did the Extraordinary APB/WSB Course in Cuba in August and was
successful in attaining the highest level of coaching in amateur
“I got my results just a week ago. Ironically I was sitting in
the lobby area of the United States Olympic Committee when I got
the email. Jumping up and down, my colleagues thought I went a
little bit crazy! But the course was very hectic, with long
classroom sessions and vigorous practical sessions and the exam
was a four-part series, testing all aspects of coaching. I was a
bit nervous about the results, the pass mark was 85%. But I am
Ria believes the best way to be a good coach is to always
continue learning. As such, just three weeks after the APB/WSB
course, she boarded a flight for Delaware to begin the
International Coaching Enrichment Certification Program (ICECP).
She explains about the ICECP course.
“The ICECP is a program that is hosted and facilitated by the
University of Delaware and the United States Olympic Committee,
and is funded by Olympic Solidarity. ICECP is a program that
teaches about coaching across the board. All aspects of coaching
including nutrition, periodization, injury prevention,
rehabilitation, team building, mental preparation, and a host of
other topics. There were thirty-four coaches, all from a
different country representing 15 different sports.
We had two weeks at the University of Delaware, one week at an
apprenticeship site and two weeks at the United States Olympic
Training Center in Colorado Springs. So in effect, we got a lot
of teaching in the classroom and was also able to get hands-on
experience during our apprenticeship”.
Ria, and another boxing coach from Botswana, were placed at the
Corner Boxing Club, founded by head coach and well decorated
former amateur boxer, Carrie Barry.
“I think my colleague, Khumiso, and I had the greatest
apprenticeship experience. We both learnt a lot from Carrie. By
the time we left at the end of the week, we didn’t have just new
friends, but more so, we had found family. Carrie was brilliant.
She was interested in our knowledge and methods, gave us the
opportunity to teach a class or two, told her students to listen
to what we had to say… It was most amazing and humbling at the
same time. Her assistant, Kirsten, was great as well, as were
all the students. Imagine I even got a surprise birthday
party!!! And I was also fortunate enough to meet great resources
for my project preparation. Yeah, we had the best
Ria continued to explain about ICECP. “Our last part of the
course involves a project. We must identify a major problem in
our sport in our country and develop a program/project to solve
this problem. This involves each of us having a private tutor
who will guide us along the way. Once we are deemed to have
spent sufficient time and made the effort and progress with our
project, only then will the participant be invited to present
their project to the International Olympic Committee in
Lausanne, Switzerland next May. So yea, it is not about just
going on a program and coming back home and stacking the papers
and books in a corner. You must continue to work.”
And how does boxing fit into all of this?
“This program teaches coaching. Each person now has to apply the
teachings and philosophies to their own sport. I believe I have
certainly learnt a lot that I can apply in my club and country.
Boxing is a unique sport, the mentality of knowing you are
actually going to get hit and have to hit back - that is
something that other sports don’t share. So every bit of
knowledge in any regard is always a plus”.
While at the USOC, the coaches got to visit the National
Governing Body’s for their specific sport as well as other
relevant sporting institutions and associations. Ria’s visit to
USA Boxing was a great experience. “I met with Mike Martino and
other key persons there. Touring USA Boxing fully impressed me.
Mr. Martino took time out to sit and chat with me, the others
did the same. I felt very welcomed and I was given a lot of
Ramnarine was grateful for her time in the US as a ICECP
student. “I have been blessed to be part of the ICECP course. I
have already learnt so much, and my network has grown
tremendously. The other coaches and I have become a family and
we have worked tirelessly to help each other. We can now travel
to each other’s countries and know that we have a home – we
parted with the words “mi casa es su casa”. With regards to my
project which deals with women, boxing and self-defense, I was
fortunate to have met people who have become friends as well as
“human resource”. I also got the opportunity to visit the US Air
Force facility and chat with the Combative Coordinator, who
shared some profound philosophy and methods of self-defense”.
The head people of ICECP, Carolina Bayon, Dr. Matt Robsinson and
Jeffrey Schneider have encapsulated the rudiments and
intricacies of coaching into the program and utilized various
professionals as lecturers. They also made the trip to the USA a
memorable one for the student coaches – trips to New York City,
shopping malls, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and other places. An
ice hockey game was also on the agenda and Ramnarine said it was
her first experience at such. “I loved it! The precision of the
players, the near fights, the atmosphere was so energetic!”
The boxer turned coach said that she wouldn’t want to trade her
ICECP experience for anything else in the world. It has been a
fulfilling and amazing experience for her and she fully intends
to bring her project to fruition in Trinidad & Tobago over the
next few months.
Ria wishes to shout out her thanks to the TTOC, USOC, University
of Delaware, the USOTC, all staff & members of all institutions,
and all those who contributed to her being part of the ICECP