UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sport agency, announced today that following a meeting of its Board earlier this week it has agreed to support the newly reconstituted British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) as the lead body driving forward Olympic success for 2012.
UK Sport was deciding how to invest in the UK’s amateur boxing performance programme going forward because, while the boxers under Head Coach Terry Edwards had achieved tremendous success in Beijing with the best performance for 50 years, its Mission 2012 process highlighted concerns around governance issues in the sport and the overall climate in which the boxers and coaches were having to operate. Change was therefore required to ensure the best possible return on the potential multi-million pound investment ahead of London 2012.
UK Sport will now invest the remainder of its ‘Beijing cycle’ funding award up to March 2009 into BABA, Chaired by Derek Mapp. The level of investment, strategy and approach for the four years to London will be determined during this period.
John Steele, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “This is the right solution at the right time for the sport. Terry Edwards and the team did a fantastic job in Beijing and they deserve to have the chance to move forward under the best possible high performance structure. Under Derek Mapp, BABA will provide a fresh start in terms of the way the sport is run. Crucially the elite end of the sport will have dedicated funding structures in place, and a new management board with a strong focus on performance and recognition of what is needed to succeed and win on the world stage. It brings a level of certainty for those that are part of the current structure, and a chance for everyone to get behind one of our strong medal prospect sports for 2012.”
Derek Mapp, Chairman of BABA, said: “I welcome this decision by UK Sport and particularly the support they have shown for the change I am trying to make. There is enormous potential for British amateur boxing to be a real star of the Games in 2012 and beyond. My job at BABA is to ensure that everything we do supports those that are at the sharp end seeking to take on the best in the world: the boxers, their coaches and support teams. While they did extremely well in Beijing, I recognise that not everything around them in the sport is right at the moment, and I am totally committed to ensuring this fresh start will bring change that is meaningful and lasting. It is a chance for all of us to drive positive change in the sport at the elite end, and I fully intend to take it.”