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Sep 9, 2022

A Jab in the Right Direction

Earlier generations knew and respected her for her passion in the discipline of boxing. She was a force to be reckoned with. The name Henrietta Gill was known for turning boys to men through the discipline of a sport and Sabreena Daly found out how in her latest look on the right side.


William Dawson

William Dawson, Leader of L.I.U.
She was always about order and discipline. And what amazed me, she was a female. She had that ability to connect with young boys and it was so many young boys who were there. She taught us that boxing was more than a sport. It was a discipline and I think that was what attracted me to her.”


Anthony Campbell

Anthony Campbell, Former Boxer

What amazed me about miss Gill, da because ih da wa woman. You meet more man than a woman di come train yuh and she, ih neva old like how I old now, sorry fo seh it Miss Gill, but she wa punch yuh. Noh, she wah punch yuh. She wah punch yuh.”

Henrietta Gill

Henrietta Gill, Boxing Trainer
“And when the punch come, ih come. That’s the punch. That’s the punch.”


This is Miss Henrietta Gill at eighty-nine years old still throwing lightning jabs and I never imagined I would be dodging one. She is a retired boxing trainer and former prison warden at the Belize Central Prison. Her productive years were spent mentoring youths and using the sport of boxing therapeutically for prison inmates.

Henrietta Gill

You know, they try to play you, being a woman. There was a lot of difficulties in the boxing world. I started working with them and the boys started to have confidence in me because they know that I don’t play you know. When I’m working, I’m working. When we’re playing, we’re playing. So, they decided to respect me. As I told them, I didn’t come here for anybody to love me, but respect, you’re gonna respect me. I demand it.”

It was quite an odd scenario, having a woman teaching the steps to defend one’s self. But Miss Henrietta knows how. What started as a parent supporting her child in the sport of boxing, blossomed into her being totally invested in the discipline, enough to want train others who are interested. Soon enough, she had a cohort of youths following her at the Civic Center gym.

Henrietta Gill

My boys at civic center that I had were boys from Faber’s road. I used to go and pick them up from their house and take them back home. At that time, I didn’t have a car, I was riding bicycle so they run behind and we talk. You borrow the bike and I walk. We had fun, we had fun.”

And her respect, in and out of the ring, rewarded her with an opportunity to courageously extend her role within the prison.


Henrietta Gill

“It was Mr. Fred Young when I sent in my application. He accepted and three or four months after, they had the test for officers. I took it and I passed the test. Thank you again because me can’t read good. I became an officer and I worked my way with the girls and boys and when I left the prison, I was a grade one officer.”

Anthony Campbell

I wah always give da lady respect. She was so good to not only me but so much people in this city. This lady helped ghetto youth, poor people, bad boys. When you’re bad, people don’t want to help. They want to help good people but you have good people weh da bad people too.”



“Did you ever imagine that you would have impacted the lives of so many?”

“You know when I was coming up doing this job, being in this and doing different things, I did not. I was just doing because I am a Belizean. I love my paradise Belize and I know the youth are my future, our future. And if we don’t build them then what do we expect? What will we have?”

Decades later, her contributions have secured her a place in the hearts of many. For Henrietta, a jab in the right direction was all it took. Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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