Oxnard Police Activities League (PAL) hosted the Olympic Qualifying 45th Annual National PAL Boxing Championships

More Than Just A Qualifier for the Summer Olympics

By Peter Godinez Community Ambassador

The venue spanned November 1-9, 2019.  It is over now.  Oxnard PAL  Director Terrel Harrison, was especially excited since this event was the USA Boxing Last Chance Qualifier in preparation for the up and coming 2020 Summer Olympics being hosted in Tokyo Japan.  We could feel the anticipation of the approaching Olympics.  The event has grown significantly since last year, since it will qualify two athletes from each weight class/sex to go to the next level of the Olympic journey.

But the significance of the event goes way beyond the Olympic Spirit that it carries.  When one looks closely at the one-week duration, there are key stand-out components that need to be recognized ….

 Diversity of Athletes

The Boxers’ profiles comprises both females and males of various weights and ages. While the Open Division is geared  more toward the Olympic-bound athlete, there are other divisions that accommodate the development of younger boxers. 

No matter who the athlete is, the Code of Conduct holds each athlete to specific standards of rules and respect- all of which translate to future behaviors useful, as eventually all will retire from this sport and live out their individual lives.

Family 

There is nothing better to bring the full spectrum of families better than watching your relative in the boxing ring “slugging it out” with their opponent.  Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and any other guardian missing from this list are in attendance cheering for their loved one(s) and were there afterwards to celebrate a victory or encourage in the event of a defeat.  No matter what the performance outcome, family (and friends) are brought together.

Coaches

The coach serves as the gatekeeper of a boxer’s physical, emotional, and mental state and development- a mentor. Hundreds and maybe thousands of techniques, tactics and strategies will be shared between boxers and coaches. They both will share in the responsibility for the outcome (win, lose or draw).  The coach invests several hours before, during and after the match.  They hold the key in between rounds to change the outcome of the match.  They will share in victory and hold each other up in the event of a defeat.  The coach’s influence on the boxer exists inside and outside of the ring.  Many boxers leave the sport with hopefully positive elements that they will use for the rest of their lives.  The memories and the nostalgia will be strong in their minds, hearts and souls.

Referees

Not a lot of people outside of the sport of boxing  understand in its entirety what it takes to be a referee is this contact sport.  Referee Keith F. Greenberg (photo) stated that the primary responsibility is to keep the competitors safe.  This presents a challenge when the goal is to knock you opponent down.  Still the Boxers need to compete within defined rules.

Besides having to invest hours of your life taking referee classes and courses, one must pass a test to gain certification and of course take hands on training.  Greenberg stated he has his wife video him so he can analyze his performance in the ring for future matches.  Now that is dedication.

Judges

The best kept secret of these judges at this PAL event is they are not paid for their services.  The judges who travel to the venue are provided housing of some sort.   To the delight of these dedicated people, they are also fed your basic lunch and as much beverages as they can drink.  Just as the boxing referee has many rules, regulations and policies to learn for the opportunity to judge a boxing match, so must a judge spend time to know how to watch a specific match, keep score of specific actions happening and ultimately decide a winner by unanimous or split decision.  Not a lot of time to daydream.

Staging Crew

It takes a very tight process and some very skilled and organized personnel to keep track of all the details of  bouts and the scoring results. The established workflow never stops and there is no room for mistakes and missing details.  A lot of paperwork comes into this team and immediately out.  Through all of this everyone in this group has a friendly and pleasant attitude.

Doctors 

The medical infrastructure is very impressive at this event taking every precaution to prevent and avoid injury to these valuable athletes.  The process begins with a mandatory medical examination prior to the event.  The doctors are required to check the athletes before and after the match.  Nothing is left to chance.  These dedicated practitioners make the important call to allow the boxer to continue to the next match or possible other course of action that will keep the athlete safe.

Announcer

The announcer serves as the glue that keeps the audience entertained, informed and inspired.  Part DJ and part reporter is the best way to describe this participant of this event.  It takes personally and a special kind of deep voice to accomplish the task of the announcer over the loudness of the crowd. Combine this profile with the latest and great technology and you put on the “Greatest Show in Ventura County”.

Final Thoughts

Yes, two boxers from each weight class both female and male will continue to the next level of the Olympics in 2020.  More important that everyone we competed and participated in this event will go on an be their own champion in the specific area of their life.


2019 Last Chance Qualifier Concludes

Event Results available now! …..

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Boxing/Results/2019/November/01/2019-Last-Chance-Qualifier

 


Peter K. Godinez is a longtime document management professional in the information services industry, as well as a Citizen of Oxnard who desires to see this community thrive to the best of its abilities and potential.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petergodinez

Peter Godinez
Education & Public Sector Account Executive
 GodinezVote
Tel: 800-769-2679
Cell: (818) 430-6945
M a k i n g  B u s i n e s s  E a s i e r

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