By Tom Degun

Richard-CabornOctober 9 - Richard Caborn, the new chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE), has spearheaded a number of key changes to the way the organisation is governed as part of an on-going process of modernisation.

The 69-year-old from Sheffield (pictured top), who previously served as Minister for Sport in Tony Blair's Labour Government, replaced Keith Walters as ABAE chairman in July this year and has immediately gone about reforming the body.

The reforms are designed to capitalise on the success of the British boxing team at the London 2012 Olympics, who topped the sport's medal table with five medals, three of which were gold.

The most notable change will see the creation of a new 15-person board, which will include a representative from each of the 10 regions of England, three non-executives, one person from the Combined Services and an independent chairman.

It replaces the previous structure that was made-up of a board with responsibility for the delivery of the Whole Sport Plan for boxing, and a council which represented the regions and was responsible for competitions and rule changes.

Luke Campbell_of_Great_Britain_celebrates_after_the_medal_ceremony_for_the_Mens_Bantam_56kg_Boxing_final_bout_on_Day_15_of_the_London_2012_OlympicBritain claimed three gold medals at London 2012, including the men's bantamweight won by Luke Campbell

In addition to this, a series of commissions that oversaw different aspects of the sport, such as medical issues, coaching and female boxing will be replaced by sub-committees that will be overseen by a board member and report directly to the new board.

The changes followed a 12-month period of consultation with boxing clubs and key stakeholders involved in grassroots sport.

They were unanimously agreed at the ABAE's Annual General Meeting at the end of last month and will come into operation on January 1, 2013.

"In recent years, boxing has been one of the few sports to successfully deliver the twin goals of increased grassroots participation and elite medal success," said Caborn.

"These changes are designed to ensure we have the right structures in place to build on these achievements and capitalise on the boost that we expect to see following the superb performances of Great Britain's male and female boxers at the 2012 Olympics.

"The changes are all part of a process of modernisation and I am confident that the new structures will streamline decision making, yet still ensure everyone has a voice, and lead to greater transparency and accountability in the way the ABAE operates.

"The creation of a single board to drive the sport forward and represent its interests will also enable the ABAE to work in a more direct and transparent manner in assisting and helping clubs, schools and the many valuable volunteers and coaches who work in the grassroots of the sport and help us to develop real momentum in taking the sport forward."

Nicola Adams_09-10-12Flyweight star Nicola Adams (L), who became the first female boxer ever to win an Olympic gold medal at London 2012, came through the ABAE talent system

According to the most recent figures from Sport England, 138,400 people participate in boxing once per week, which shows a rise of 30 per cent since 2008.

At the elite level, four of the five boxers who won a medal for Team GB at the London Olympics came through the ABAE's talent systems.

In total, the ABAE's talent systems produced four of the seven men and all three of the women who competed for Britain at London 2012, including flyweight Nicola Adams, who became the first female boxer ever to win an Olympic gold medal.

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