Lausanne, Switzerland, December 18, 2013 – The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is proud to announce a partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make AIBA an Official Supporter of the Haiti Sport for Hope Project.
Haiti, whose territory covers the western part of the Caribbean island Hispaniola, became the first independent nation state in Latin America when it gained independence in 1804. With a population of 9.7 million people, it is the most populated country in the Caribbean, yet it is also the poorest country in the Americas with the UN having dispatched a permanent Stabilising Mission to the country.
In agreement with the Government of Haiti, the IOC is setting up an Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) to foster community development, promote elite sport in the country and region and spread the Olympic values. Whilst the high-quality facility will provide a sports environment for athletes, coaches and sports administrators, it will also offer health and welfare programmes for women and young people.
The OYDC, which will be located in Croix des Bouquets near the capital Port au Prince, will feature facilities for a number of sports, including boxing. AIBA, in its role as Official Supporter, will be organising the provision of a ring, around 180 pairs of boxing gloves and 100 headguards along with skipping ropes, focus mitts and other training equipment.
“The OYDC represents an important step forward for sport and social development on the island of Haiti and AIBA is very proud to be part of such a project”, AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu explained. “AIBA is committed to community outreach and the development of boxing worldwide. We believe that sport has the power to be a force for good in the world and the IOC’s project in Haiti is another example of how the values of Olympism can transform society for the better”.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “I’d like to thank AIBA for their important contribution to the IOC’s second Olympic Youth Development Center, currently being built in Haiti. The support of International Federations is crucial to its success. They are donating equipment, as well as giving precious advice on how to set up the specific sporting infrastructure and related training programmes. AIBA’s support will benefit many young people in Haiti and elsewhere in the region.”
The OYDC is designed to build on the success of the IOC’s first Center in Zambia, which recently celebrated its third anniversary. The project has worked very well in Africa and has been visited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Its sustainable concept has been also praised by the UN as an example of how sport can promote peace and development. AIBA believes that the project in Haiti can have an even greater impact.
The Sport for Hope Programme aims to provide athletes, young people and communities in developing countries with opportunities to practise sport and learn about Olympic values.