Exclusive: Former Sport Minister Caborn appointed ABAE chairman
Thursday, 12 July 2012
July 12 - Richard Caborn, the former Minister for Sport, has been appointed the new chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) where he replaces Keith Walters in the senior role.
The appointment is part of a modernisation process by the ABAE to capitalise on any positive outcomes from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Caborn (pictured above) takes up the post from his honorary position of President of the ABAE, a non-executive role that offered very little involvement in the day-to-day running of the organisation.
The new appointment means that the 68-year-old from Sheffield will now be directly responsible for guiding the future development of the organisation and the sport of amateur boxing.
"Boxing is one of our most successful sports in its ability to deliver the twin goals of increased grassroots participation and elite medal success and we want to ensure that we continue to build on that," said Caborn, who was the Sports Minister in charge seven years ago when London won the bid to stage the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
"The London 2012 Olympics will provide a unique shop window for the sport where we are hopeful that our boxers will do well and we want to ensure the ABAE is set-up to maximise the opportunities that will come from this in terms of attracting new people to the sport."
The move is almost certain to help the ABAE enhance their relationship with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) given that Caborn is close to AIBA President C K Wu.
The relationship has been difficult since former ABAE chief executive Paul King ran a disastrous campaign to challenge Wu for AIBA Presidency back in 2010; a move that ultimately cost him his job.
The failed coup happened while Walters was chairman.
King has since been replaced by Mark Abberley, who has already played a significant role in rebuilding relations with the world governing body for the sport.
Abberley admitted he was delighted that Caborn will be taking up the role of ABAE chairman.
"It is a very exciting time to be involved in amateur boxing and having a former Sports Minister as our chairman is great for the ABAE and provides us with the opportunity to call on all of Richard's skills, experience and connections," he said.
Abberley also paid tribute to Walters, who has been ABAE chairman since 2006 and who will now take up the honorary role of ABAE President which was formerly held by Caborn.
"It is important to recognise the great service that Keith Walters has provided to amateur boxing in his six years as chairman," Abberley said.
"I am very happy that he is staying on in the role of President where we can continue to have the benefit of his unparalleled knowledge of grassroots boxing."
Caborn could now play a big role in deciding if Britain set up a franchise in the AIBA-owned World Series of Boxing (WSB) competition.
AIBA are keen to have British franchise involved made up of England, Scotland and Wales, and with talks currently on going about the issue with UK Sport, discussing the issue will be high on Caborn's agenda.
On a domestic front, things appear more straight forward as boxing is one of the few sports funded by Sport England that consistently delivers significant increases in participation.
According to the most recent figures from Sport England, 138,400 people participate in boxing once per week which shows a participation rise of 30 per cent since 2008.
At the elite level, it continues to produce top class international boxers and four of the seven men and all three of the women that will compete for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics came through the ABAE's ranks.