Former Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, has been appointed Chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE).
He will replace the out-going Chairman Keith Walters who becomes the President of the ABAE, a role formerly held by Caborn.
As Chairman, Caborn will work with the Board of the ABAE and its Chief Executive, Mark Abberley, to guide the future development of the organisation and the sport of amateur boxing, which is one of the few funded by Sport England to deliver significant increases in participation.
The appointment is part of a process of modernisation by the ABAE to ensure it has the right structures and people in place to build on the success of recent years and be in the best possible shape to capitalise on any positive outcomes from the London 2012 Olympics.
“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,” explained Caborn.
“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.”
According to the most recent figures from Sport England (Active People 6, June 2012), 138,400 people participate in boxing once per week – a rise of 30% 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 in this summer’s Olympics came through the ABAE’s ranks.
The Chief Executive of the ABAE Mark Abberley said: “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.
“At the same time, it is important to recognise the great service that Keith Walters has provided to amateur boxing in his six years as Chairman and 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.”
Richard Caborn was the Labour MP for Sheffield Central from 1983 until 2009 when he stepped down from front-line Politics. He served as the Minister of Sport at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 2001-07 and is widely credited with playing an important role in helping to secure the Olympic Games for London.
Keith Walters has served the ABAE as Chairman since 2006 and been responsible for many positive changes within amateur boxing. He has acted as an AIBA representative for England, is the Regional Secretary for the London ABA and is a committee member at Lynn Amateur Boxing Club in London where he has been involved as a boxer, coach and administrator since 1955.