HDI’s Sports Diplomacy Program in Jamaica November 13-20, 2023 – Building Confidence and Self-esteem Through Boxing

From left to right: Mr. Lennox Blackmoore, Mr. Tibor Juhasz, Mr. Stephen Jones (JBB), Mr. Gabriel Hurst (US Embassy Kingston) Mr. Mark Cole (Fight for Peace)

The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) works around the world to inform and foster dialogue amongst critical stakeholders on key global issues. We do this through our programs with the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, engaging young people, supporting cultural and sports diplomacy, and working on humanitarian programs. HDI employs sports diplomacy to promote dialogue. We collaborate with U.S. Embassies and Consulates to bring American culture and sports to countries worldwide.

HDI, through a grant awarded by the U.S. Embassy in Kingston Jamaica, brought four elite U.S. boxers to Jamaica. The American team collaborated with Jamaican boxers from November 15 to November 21 to train young Jamaicans interested in learning more about the sport. The boxers conducted clinics in Kingston at both the Denham Town Community Center and the Funrobics Fitness Gym (Portmore). Clinics in Montego Bay took place at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.  The Boxing Clinics were modeled after a High-Level Training Camp in which the participants remained together from early morning until late afternoon. In addition to actual training, the biographies, boxing styles, and training of the greatest boxers in history were reviewed.  Emphasis was placed on American and Jamaican boxers, including Muhammed Ali and the world’s best active female middleweight, Claressa Maria Shields. Classes also included lessons on moral responsibility, self-confidence, self-control, and the discipline that the sport requires, all vital skills for young people. After daily training, the program finished with a communal fun activity designed as a fun way to wrap up the day, reflect on lessons learned and create relationships among the Americans and Jamaicans. The program engaged hundreds of young Jamaicans and was covered in the Jamaican media.  The boxing program in Jamaica is the third in a series organized by HDI. Earlier this year we brought the program to Jerusalem and the West Bank and in 2022 the inaugural HDI boxing program took place in the Dominican Republic.

HDI is honored that Mr. Lennox Blackmoore led the team. Mr. Blackmoore is a world-famous boxer, originally from Guyana where he won the Guyanese lightweight title and Guyanese light middleweight title in the 1970s.  After retiring from boxing, Mr. Blackmoore emigrated to the United States where he continues to train America’s top boxers at the world-famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York.  Ms. Ronica Jeffrey, an internationally ranked professional boxer and the best in her weight class in the United States, Mr. Tibor Juhasz who was a Hungarian National Boxing Team member in the early 2000s before immigrating to the United States, and Ms. Jenna Gaglioti, a top U.S. professional boxer assisted Mr. Blackmoore.

HDI is committed to advancing U.S. foreign policy goals, including creating strong people-to-people ties between Americans and Jamaicans and fostering conditions conducive to gender empowerment and equity and a greater understanding of non-violent conflict resolution. HDI would like to express its sincere appreciation to its Jamaican partners, the Jamaican Boxing Board (JBB) and Fight for Peace-Jamaica.  The work of Mr. Stephen Jones (JBB), Mr. Mark Cole (Fight for Peace), and Ms. Kylie of Fight for Peace Jamaica was invaluable in making this program a success.

HDI would also like to thank the Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston for its unmatched support.