Exclusive: Caborn sells boxing’s social message to new police commissioners
Saturday, 10 November 2012
November 10 - England's amateur boxing boss has written to candidates in the forthcoming police commissioner elections to propose a dialogue and highlight the sport's track record as a tool for tackling social issues.
Richard Caborn, the former Labour Sports Minister who is now chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE), argues in the letter that boxing "could become an even more powerful policy device in addressing many of the issues that blight our communities.
"To this end, I would welcome the opportunity to have a deeper dialogue with you about how we may be able to do this and, in so doing, contribute to the delivery of positive outcomes on some of the issues that you will be tasked with addressing if you are successful in your election bid."
In a new Government initiative, 41 police and crime commissioners are to be elected across England and Wales on November 15.
Candidates include John Prescott, the former Labour deputy Prime Minister, and Michael Mates, a former Conservative Government Minister.
In the letter, Caborn states that grassroots participation has grown by 30 per cent since June 2008 and argues that boxing "has emerged as a valuable tool in helping to combat a wide range of police related issues covering everything from gun, knife and gang crime to arson, anti-social behaviour and online child abuse.
"The ability of community driven boxing-based interventions to deliver tangible improvements across all of these areas has seen the sport secure support from across the political spectrum," Caborn writes.
Moreover, "non-contact boxing is now offered in more than 2,000 schools in England...where it is widely recognised by teachers and parents as a vital tool in addressing issues such as obesity, inactivity, truancy and bullying".
The ABAE is responsible for grassroots development of boxing in England, overseeing a network of 870 affiliated clubs with more than 18,000 members.
These clubs are frequently located in areas of high social deprivation.
Boxing has also re-emerged as one of Great Britain's most successful Olympic sports in recent times, with London 2012 gold medallists including Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua.