IABA – Christmas Message from our Chair, President & CEO.

2022 has been an extraordinary year in Irish Boxing, and we can now look forward to 2023 and the beginning of Paris qualification with hope and confidence.

This is thanks, in no small part, to the two streams of Irish Boxing’s 2022 success story – achievement in the ring, and collaboration outside the ring.

Team Ireland ends the year with an historic 3 World Champions in Amy Broadhurst, Lisa O’Rourke and Cliona D’Arcy – equally historic was the Women’s European Championship team performance, claiming top spot for the first time. Team Ireland’s men also claimed two European medals, while Ulster’s Commonwealth Games team collectively topped the podium in Birmingham. At underage level, sterling performances by our Schools, Youth and Junior teams on the European and World stages underscores the strength and depth of talent, and of coaching, in clubs throughout the IABA.

2022 has seen the election of a new Officer Board, appointments of an Interim Chair and CEO, the appointment of Neil Gough to the Board of Directors, and the elections to the BoD of Fiona Hennigan and Darren O’Neill. Boardmatch, is managing the recruitment of a permanent Chair of the Board of Directors, process in accordance with the Rules and under the stewardship of the Nomination and HR Committee. This process which will continue into the New Year.

An online consultation on the IABA governance review, which invited the views of all adult members, took place in November and December. Interim Chairperson, Tom Geraghty, says “ In the New Year, we’ll travel to every province to hear from clubs, directly, on how want IABA to evolve and grow. Every coach, every club, every Senior boxer, will have a voice. It is important that as many people as possible take part in this process, as it will help to shape Irish Boxing’s future and the way in which we achieve best practice governance. Looking globally, there is no way to diminish the gravity of the threat to Boxing’s status as a hallowed Olympic sport. This threat is created by long-standing and broadly criticised governance issues in the world governing body. Irish Boxing, as a proud member of the Common Cause Alliance, has added its voice to that criticism. The IBA has barely given lip-service to the root and branch reform of its governance and operation models required to ensure boxing is among the sports at the LA games and beyond. This cannot stand, and Irish Boxing must be ready to take decisive action, with the CCA fraternity, to protect boxing. Hard and complex choices lie ahead, and these are choices in which every IABA club and unit will have also have a voice. These decisions will be made, with you , in the months ahead.”

The Officer Board, in partnership with staff, has delivered the introduction a reformed Coach Education pathway – almost 160 people have taken the FUNdamentals: Assistant Coach course in a five-week period. Level 1 is scheduled to be available before the end of Quarter One, and Level Two later in 2023. This is a keynote development not only for those newly qualified coaches, but for their clubs and the wider boxing community.  In order to ensure the highest standard of officiating, R&J courses have taken place in recent weeks in many counties.

President, Gerry O’Mahony, says “Four national competitions have taken place since July. We value all of the feedback that coaches, clubs and boxers have shared with us following the National Senior and National Novice championships. The Officer Board has, for the last 7 months, worked tirelessly, to ensure that as many coaches and R&Js as possible are upskilled to the highest possible standard; we’re making preparations for the 2023 National Elite Championships – the first step on the road to Paris”

“The Officer Board, and the Board of Directors, have held talks on many occasions since September with Sport Ireland on bringing our sports governance up to the same standard as our sport’s international achievements. We’ve achieved a lot in recent weeks, with new members joining the Board of Directors, and the creation of Board and Central Council committees – but there is work still to be done in the weeks ahead. As Tom said, we’ll make these decisions together and I look forward to talking to you all about our choices.”

Interim CEO, John Nangle, says “The Association is on a positive footing heading in to 2023, and the beginning of the Paris Olympics qualification period. As Gerry and Tom have noted, there is much work still to be done to ensure the development of IABA and to secure the future of Olympic boxing. We hope that every club will chose to take part in the discussions ahead”

We’d like to wish our boxers, coaches, clubs, administrators, and officials a very merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year.

IABA Officer Board:

President, Gerry O’Mahony

Vice President, Tom Ward

National Secretary, Antoinette Fay McClean

Treasurer, Larry Morrison

Registrar, Philip Rooney