New RESPECT campaign calls for greater co-operation in amateur boxing
February 25, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
England Boxing has today launched a new RESPECT campaign, urging boxers, coaches, club support staff, parents, spectators and officials to show greater courtesy to each other at tournaments and shows.
Competitive boxing in England is thriving, reflected in a record 34 international medals won by the Talent Squad across the age groups last year.
Conversely, though, the number of referees, judges and other boxing officials is shrinking year on year, with criticism and verbal abuse understood to be a big factor.
As a result, England Boxing is asking all involved in competitions to rethink their conduct ahead of this year’s England Boxing National Youth Championships on 16th and 17th February, the first of a raft of major 2019 events.
“Those that support boxing will acknowledge that it remains one of the most demanding sports in the world, one that you simply cannot play, and most onlookers would acknowledge that respect should be at the heart of our sport,” said Head of Coach Development Karl Whalley.
“Hence, it is somewhat disappointing to have to highlight that disrespect to officials, coaches, and at times, the boxers themselves is becoming a threat to your success and our ability to sustain the sport.
“At times, boxing competitions can be marred by distasteful and unwarranted interactions. A lack of appreciation for others, and an increasing level of disrespect that go against the fine traditions of our sport, have been evident.
“Everyone knows such actions should not be tolerated, but only with the support of the membership as a whole will such behaviour be kicked out of boxing for good.
“Throughout 2019, England Boxing is determined to ensure that the need for respect across our sport is collectively agreed, supported and demonstrated. In a sport that has numerous shades of interpretation, respect should always be a given plain and simple.”
In a bid to reinforce the RESPECT campaign, England Boxing will be distributing a range of materials to member clubs to help them support the message in their venues.
Each club will receive an email with key messages to promote to their members, while A4 posters and social media branding has been uploaded to the Vault.
RESPECT pop-up banners, ring ‘Toblerones’ and literature are also planned for future England Boxing events.
England Boxing Board Member Giorgio Brugnoli added: “We know our sport is subjective, and disputes do arise, but we want to work towards a culture where there is always mutual respect for one another..
“This needs to apply from every angle between officials, competitors, coaches, spectators and we must all work together to stamp out what has been a growing problem.”