Sports

Boxing

JDF Sends Jamaica’s Only Local
Fighter to Commonwealth Games

Private Andre Reid of the Jamaica Defence Force having a light workout at the
JDF’s Gym at Up Park Camp.

For Private Andre Reid, boxing wasn’t a sport that he chose but rather, a sport that chose him. “I never thought I would take up boxing as a sport”, says the 28 year-old super heavyweight, “but after I joined the Jamaica Defence Force, my Commanding Officer looked at me one day and said ‘you’re going to box!’ and the rest is history”.
And history is what the Kingston native is about to create when he goes to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India as the only locally based boxer representing Jamaica.

“I’m very excited to be going to the games and I expect to do well over there,” said Reid. “I have a very good coach and a very good support team to motivate me. My family, especially my wife, are all 100% behind me.”
Reid attended Jamaica College and worked as a customs agent before joining the JDF in January 2003. He attributes much of his boxing success to the core values of the JDF which have been instilled in him since joining the Force.
“To be a good boxer, you have to be brave. You have to be committed and you have to be disciplined. All soldiers are taught these core principles from day one and they have helped me to grow in the sport very quickly.”

Reid’s rapid success in a sport that he took up relatively late in life belies the reality of his journey. “Boxing is not an easy sport. It is hard, it is painful and it can take a severe toll on your body. Just talking about it brings back some painful memories,” he laughs. “But once you are dedicated to becoming a good fighter and making the effort to learn all there is to the sport, it can be very satisfying.”
Reid, who missed out on the CAC games earlier this year because of operational duties with the JDF, goes to the Commonwealth Games with an amateur record of ten wins and one loss. He expects to improve on this tally and hopefully take home the gold medal in the division. He is excited and eager to have his first fight in Delhi and is not perturbed by the controversy and criticism that has surrounded the games.

“I’m used to operating in situations that may not be the best. If it’s one thing that the JDF has taught me is that not having the ideal equipment, surroundings or resources is no excuse for failure.”

Reid’s coaches and commanding officer also have high expectations of him. “Private Reid’s selection for the team to the commonwealth games is remarkable for a number of reasons”, said Major Kevron Henry, the JDF’s boxing officer. “He has had relatively little time to prepare given the operational duties required of him as a result of the events in May. In addition, his training facilities and resources will probably not be up to the standards of some of his competitors in Delhi. But his accomplishments speak volumes about his own personal strength of character as well as the JDF’s ability to produce fine soldiers who can excel and achieve despite improbable odds”.
Reid left the island for the Commonwealth Games last week. He will begin his quest in Delhi on October 5.