Exclusive: New leadership structure for English boxing

Monday, 31 December 2012
By David Owen

Amateur Boxing Association of England logoDecember 31 - The Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) is to set up a new Board, with the aim of improving governance at a time of renewed success for the sport.

Out will go the old two-tier system under which a Council presided over boxing matters, while an Executive Board held sway over finance.

Replacing this will be a new 15-member Board, comprising representatives from each of England's 10 regions, together with three non-executive directors, a non-executive chairman and a representative of the armed forces.

All regional members will be elected from their regions, while the old-style commissions are to be replaced by a series of sub-committees, each chaired by a Board member.

The move is revealed in a new year's message from Richard Caborn, ABAE chairman, which will be sent this week to members and clubs.

According to Caborn, a former Sports Minister, the new Board is intended "to make the organisation more responsive to the needs of its members", while giving the ABAE a "leadership structure that is better equipped to deal with the challenges that lie ahead".

Caborn also reveals that £1 million ($1.6 million/€1.2 million) of the increased funding for boxing announced this month by Sport England for 2013-2017 has been "specifically designated for clubs".

Richard Caborn with filesABAE chairman Richard Caborn is leading the modernisation of the sport in England

The ABAE will, he says, be contacting "every boxing club in England after April 2013 to share details of how they can bid for a share of this money".

Olympic success by the likes of Nicola Adams, along with boxing's proven capacity to reach young people in deprived areas, has helped to reinvigorate the sport in Great Britain after decades spent shrouded in controversy.

Caborn highlights the latest Active People survey from Sport England, saying that more than 140,000 people in the country now take part in boxing at least once a week.

"We have a number of initiatives planned to continue to grow the sport," Caborn adds.

"We will continue to broaden our work with schools, [further education] colleges and universities and establish more links with boxing clubs.

"For recreational boxers, an ABA-accredited boxing fitness product is set to be launched that will be accessible in clubs and gyms throughout England.

"We will also be investing in coaching and running a series of training modules to help increase the number of coaches and develop the skills of those already working in the sport."

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