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Ria Ramnarine busy out of the ring!
October 27, 2014


(OCT 27)  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 boxing.

“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 happy now”.

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 apprenticeship..!”

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 gifts too!”

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 family.

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