In recent weeks, Fight for Peace inaugurated two memorial trophies, recognising the achievement of our young people and paying tribute to two members of the Fight for Peace family that we have sadly lost. 

The Sam Bezzina and Ricardo Có Memorial Trophies are awarded annually to the outstanding boxing and muay thai athletes respectively at Fight for Peace. Here outstanding is defined as those young people who have best lived the Fight for Peace values in that year – Embracing, Solidarity, Champion, Inspiring, Courage. 

Votes by young people and Fight for Peace staff are cast over a period of two weeks with the Fight for Peace Youth Council adjudicating and selecting the final winners based both on the number of votes and reasons for the nomination.

(Photos by Lily Bartley)

The trophies carry the names of two people that played big parts in Fight for Peace, and honour their memory. Sam Bezzina, our late Head Boxing Coach at Fight for Peace sadly passed away in 2020, while we tragically lost Ricardo Có, an inspirational muay thai athlete, a year earlier.   

The inaugural winners of the trophies were Gabriel Lopes (Sam Bezzina Trophy) and Tomas Pociuipa (Ricardo Có Trophy) and they were unveiled and celebrated in two ceremonies held at Fight for Peace, with young people and staff attending. The trophies were presented to the winners by Sam’s parents and two people who played important roles in Ricardo’s life, Revna and David. 

“I remember when the trophy came out, I said I wanted to be the first person to win it”, explained Gabriel, who made his debut in the boxing ring under the guidance of Sam. 

“People that voted for Gabriel have given a lot of insight into the type of work that he does at Fight for Peace, the way he interacts with teammates and I take my hat off to you,” commented Fight for Peace Sports Development Officer Silvino Domingos at the presentation. 

Muay thai winner Tomas, meanwhile, thanked everyone at Fight for Peace and reflected on what it meant to be the first winner of this prestigious trophy:

“Thank you to everyone who comes to Fight for Peace. Some people come here to sweat together, some people come in and give your smiles and help make this place a safe environment, and I think that if Ricardo is looking from above he will be proud of us.”

“Ricardo was part of Fight for Peace for many, many years and I think he has learned and he has taught to people around him his spirit, which was the spirit of a fighter, not just in the ring  but a fighter in his blood, as in fighting adversity and confronting difficulties always with the biggest smile.” Revna, who helped present the trophy via video link. 

The trophies will now be inscribed with the winners name and will take pride of place in the Fight for Peace gym with next year’s candidates preparing to carry on the prestigious legacy of those whose names have adorned the trophy in the past and those whose names the trophies carry.

As Tomas said: “Like an Olympic torch let’s keep the energy burning!”

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