360 Degrees: There’s room for everyone in the squared circle.

Free online Diversity and Inclusion Awareness training is available to all members through the IABA’s 360 Degrees campaign, which champions the message that there is room for everyone in the squared circle. IABA’s 363 clubs are home to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, from across Ireland, Europe and the wider world.

360 Degrees is supported by National Head Coach, Zauri Antia, double Olympic medalist and IABA Belfast Boxing Officer, Paddy Barnes, Tokyo and Paris Olympian, Michaela Walsh, European Games boxer, Daina Moorehouse, boxer Sammy Ilesanmi, High Five Boxing Academy athlete, Darragh Kane, Ulster Participation and Engagement Officer, Louise McKenzie, and IABA Inclusion Officer, Sophie Doolan.

“360 Degrees is an important step for IABA – boxing is already an inclusive and welcoming sport. People from all walks of life, of all abilities and levels of support need, are training, coaching and administering IABA clubs. This programme is aimed at further empowering clubs, and club members through our eLearning module, and will enable clubs to sign up to our 360 Degrees charter, showing their commitment to their club being open to everyone.” IABA Inclusion Officer, Sophie Doolan

IABA High Performance Head Coach, Zauri Antia, who left his hometown of Poti, Georgia, to work in Irish boxing 19 years ago, say “Inclusion and identity are very important. Boxing is open to everyone. Training is open to everyone. Being in a boxing club is open to everyone. Not all of us can be boxing Olympic champions, but all of us can be in the boxing community. I know Irish Boxing, and I know how welcoming it is – Irish boxing welcomed me! 360 Degrees is very important for clubs to show their local communities they welcome everyone”

360 Degrees’ foundation is the IABA’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy, in which IABA recognizes and is enriched by the unique identity, life experiences, abilities, learning styles, knowledge and contribution of every individual within the existing boxing community and seeks to support the growth of our community to be even more inclusive of people from a diverse range of backgrounds at all levels of our sport including participating, coaching, officiating, volunteering, spectating and administering.

IABA Diversity and Inclusion Policy

One of the key principles of the IABA’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy is that IABA will strive to achieve inclusion by creating pathways to participation, through working in partnership with clubs, representative groups, disability services and in consultation with people with disabilities and their families. The IABA commits to continued action to identify and remove physical, cultural, perceived, and other barriers to people in accessing our sport and our community.

It is through this principle, and partnerships with Sporting Pride, Activity Disability Ireland, SARI (Sport Against Racism Ireland) and in consultation with Vision Sport Ireland, that IABA created 360 Degrees. The campaign and programme includes:

The 360 Degrees Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to support boxing clubs in accessing the resources to allow everyone in their local communities to experience the benefits of boxing and being in a boxing club, no matter their background or ability.

The toolkit also looks at defining what an inclusive club is, engaging with clubs’ local communities, and providing modifications and training and environment for anyone who might wish them, all involving the key principles of openness and awareness.

The 360 Degrees Diversity and Intercultural Awareness eLearning programme – with practical guidance on language, culture and inclusion. All IABA club members can register their interest here. On completion of the modules, every participant receives a certificate of completion, bearing their name and their club’s name:

And for clubs, IABA has created the 360 Degrees Diversity and Inclusion Charter, which commits signatory clubs to supporting the growth of our community to be even more inclusive of people from a diverse range of backgrounds at all levels of our sport. Coaches and leaders of clubs which are signatories to the Charter should participate in the 360 Degrees Diversity and Intercultural Awareness eLearning programme

For more information, contact IABA Communications Officer, Ciara Plunkett – ciara@iaba.ie

And, the campaign has the support of Tokyo Olympic champion and Paris Olympic, Kellie Harrington