The Irish Athletic Boxing Association says it is “very aware of the need to reform the association’s volunteer structures”.
In response to comments from Secretary of State for Sport Jack Chambers threatening to withhold IABA funding unless they accept a series of rule changes, the organization said the Minister’s comments “served to draw attention to the gravity of the election to steer before the Irish stand boxing.’
The statement stressed the need to “evolve into a federation with the highest standards of governance or oppose reform and confront harmful restrictions on your sport.
“The extent of the reform recommended in the report is far-reaching and affects practically all areas of activity of the association’s volunteer structures.”
Interestingly, the minister did not mention the possibility of suspending funding for the sport’s high-performance unit if IABA members do not accept the proposals in the McNiece report published last week.
IABA acknowledges what they describe as “firm opposition from some longtime volunteer members to the main recommendations proposed in the review.”
The governing body also hopes that the minister’s comments “on the immediacy and severity of financial sanctions will give these members food for thought and motivate them to consider what is in the best interests of the sport they love.”
Key proposals include the establishment of a new 12-member Board of Directors, which would include six independent members. However, the President of IABA would have no voting rights on the new Board, although the incumbent would attend the meetings. A qualified trainer and a former Olympic boxer as well as one representative from each of the four provincial councils would represent the IABA on the board.
It is also proposed to cut the membership of the IABA Central Council, which governs the organization on a day-to-day basis, from 35 to 15.
According to the statement, the proposal to expand the board will be presented to members at an extraordinary general meeting next month.
“If the recommendations are accepted by Members at the Extraordinary General Meeting, IABA will look fully into all the oversight and change management structures employed by Sport Ireland. IABA is also committed to publishing an implementation plan within the timeframe set by the Minister.”
The statement concludes by revealing that at their board meeting last Monday – believed to be their first since last autumn – they formally asked Bernard Dunne to reconsider his decision to step down from his position as high-performance director.