Duncan is the primary backer behind the Caribbean Education Initiative, whose representative, Rashidi Clenance, said the organization just wants to give back, and found a willing recipient in the boxers, who received 20 sets of gloves and three pieces of head gear, along with a boxing pad and mitts.
“We saw what they were doing in the gym here with Julian Jackson, and we just wanted to support, we just wanted to help,” Clenance said after handing out the equipment to the boxers. While the organization’s efforts are now gaining strength in the community, Clenance said it has long been helping to support local basketball through Hood Hoops, which sponsors tournaments throughout the territory.
Clenance said the organization now wants to expand and help support all sports, along with educational initiatives. Through Hood Hoops, the organization plans to work with the University of the Virgin Islands next season to provide tutoring for the students and has also financed a seven-year reading program. Other beneficiaries include the St. Croix Educational Complex Steel Orchestra, the V.I. Swimming Federation and V.I. Weightlifting Federation.
Clenance said that while the organization gets a small monthly allotment for its donations, he hopes the community will see what it has been doing and “get behind us with support.”
The Boxing Federation’s gym is located in Paul M. Pearson Gardens, and Clenance said that while in the area for Hood Hoops games, he noticed the condition of the building and the boxers’ equipment.
“I see how many people are in this small facility, and I see how they try to maximize it, and at least we can help give the tools to help these kids succeed,” he said about the organization’s latest donation.
Renowned three-time world boxing champion Julian Jackson runs the federation’s program on St. Thomas and said much of the equipment was long overdue for an upgrade.
“We have a few head gears that are run-down, and with the new ones that we have now, it will help the guys from getting injured,” Jackson said. “And not only the head gear but the gloves as well; some of them are busted, with the cotton coming out — they have a little more knuckle than anything else. Some of them are going in the garbage for sure, now.”
Jackson said donations such as the one made Wednesday help boost the local program by making its students feel like they have the support of the community.
“Especially with the kids knowing that there are people that are concerned, that there are people in the community that really want to do something positive, it makes the kids feel really wanted and that they have a purpose and that helps our program tremendously,” he said. “And we really need the equipment, and I think it’s going to go a long way, it’s going to do a lot.
Author: JAMES GARDNER — MAY 18, 2011
CARIBBEAN EDUCATION INITIATIVE’S 3RD ANNUAL HOOD HOOPS LEAGUE
November 5, 2010 (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) — The Caribbean Education Initiative with the assistance of the Department of Housing Parks & Recreation and the Virgin Islands Police Department will commence the THIRD ANNUAL 13-15 “Hood Hoops League” between the St. Croix and the St. Thomas/St. John districts. The league is scheduled to tip off on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 on the island of St. Thomas. Sponsorship for the league is provided by NBA star and Virgin Islands native Tim Duncan.
The St. Thomas division will play on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday schedule. Participating teams in the St. Thomas/St.John division include: Nadir-Blazers, Bordeaux-48ers, Kirwin Terrace-Bust It, Hidden Valley-Magic, Hospital Ground-Da Nx Thing, Paul M. Pearson Gardens-Da Heat Is On, and out of St. John-Umoja. The St. Croix division will play on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule. Participants in the St. Croix Division include: Frederiksted-Boyz Dem, Sion Farm-Zion, Candido Guadalupe (Friedensborg)-Hoyas, John F. Kennedy-Working Together, and Barren Spot-Mo Fire.
Division champs will compete in a Best-of-3 Series with the assistance of the VI Sea Trans. The league has confirmed the participation of six teams on St. Thomas, five teams on St. Croix, and one on St. John. There are currently two spots available within the St. Croix division interested teams should immediately contact Rashidi at the Caribbean Education Initiative (340)277.9552.
About the Caribbean Education Initiative:
The Caribbean Education Initiative is a registered tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization aimed at establishing and enhancing educational opportunities while supporting progress in our community. CEI not only values the importance of education, we value the importance of well-rounded young people. For that reason, we contribute to and support organizations that promote athletics, cultural preservation, art, music, and enrichment programs for our young adults.
CEI is a non-political organization that focuses on the development of education in the Caribbean regardless of age, race, religious beliefs or ethnic background. This organization’s goal is to restore hope, reduce fear, and increase pride in our Caribbean community, using the Virgin Islands as a model. CEI is establishing and assisting with programs that promote educational, enrichment, sports, arts and cultural programs. We are here to enhance the lives of the children of the Virgin Islands.
Rashidi M. Clenance
Vice President, Caribbean Education Initiative