AGM 2022: Chairman Brooke’s praise for clubs and volunteers

September 13, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing chairman Richard Brooke has praised the ‘huge amount of work’ that the club and volunteer network did to keep amateur boxing running through the difficult Covid-19 lockdown periods.

In his chairman’s report – as part of the England Boxing Annual Report 21-22 that was presented at the Annual General Meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sheffield last night (Monday 12th September) – he also gave thanks to the ‘amazing job’ done by volunteer officials to continually keep the sport running successfully.

His remarks come in his first few months as chairman after succeeding Caspar Hobbs, who stepped down in mid-February following the completion of a maximum two full terms of four years each, eight years in total.

Brooke commended his predecessor’s ‘sterling work’ in ‘transforming England Boxing to what it is now – a modern-facing, effective organisation’.

He also took the opportunity to express a desire, along with other national federations, to ‘drive changes’ at world governing body IBA, amid ongoing concerns that amateur boxing’s status as an Olympic Sport is under serious threat.

Chief Executive Officer Jerome Pels, who came into post in April, succeeding Gethin Jenkins, also submitted his first report for the Annual Report, explaining the priorities of England’s 2022-27 Strategic Plan, Inspiring and Transforming Lives Through Boxing.

He also reported on the progress made across a number of areas since the last Annual Report was published, including a healthy rise in both club numbers (995) and individual membership (25,315).

Other successes included delivering 10 Championship tournaments in as many months to help catch-up after Covid-19 postponements, a significant increase in engagement across social media channels, 72 courses delivered to 365 coaches in nine months following the return after Covid-19, the successful return of Team England to international competition and the launch of several new community programmes such as the Women’s Coach Development Programme and Women’s Aspire, Clink to Club and the Inclusive Hub.

“The last 36 months have been one of the most significant periods of global change, challenge and transformation the world had ever seen,” he said. “Little did any of us know how much the months after those early weeks of the global pandemic would transform our world and the way we would work but also deal with sport.

“We had no idea how lives around the world would be impacted; how the makeup of the traditional sporting environment and the way our way of operating a governing body would be needed to be reshaped; how our clubs would become resilient; how the conventional structures of our organisation would be challenged; and how critical technology was going to be to our lives every day.

“But we have demonstrated our resilience and worked hard to support each other on an unpredictable journey. Fortunately, we are now focused on the future and are taking the learnings of the last couple of years in working smarter and communicating using modern technology to progress our sport.

“I would like to thank all staff and volunteers in boxing for their relentless determination to deliver for our boxers and keeping things running in the most of challenging times.”

A motion was passed during the AGM that they can be held online in future years, making it more easily accessible for a greater number of clubs and members to attend.

You can view the AGM report by clicking here.