During the 2016 Youth World Championships in Saint Petersburg, AIBA’s HeadsUp programme has harnessed the gathered expertise of its technical officials and anti-doping specialists to host a series of courses and seminars for teams, athletes and R&Js. Education has always been a central element of the HeadsUp initiative and impacts at every level of the sport, with AIBA prioritising several of its key competitions as opportunities to host these events.
The pre-tournament R&J course was conducted by 2016 Youth World Championship Supervisor Ray Silvas and dedicated to key AIBA technical and competition rules, forming part of a wider educational context for all Referees and Judges worldwide that will see a broadening in the pool of officials available at all levels. Greater participation of R&Js around the world will give the NFs greater options when hosting their own events, while the ongoing courses will ensure consistency is maintained and the level of experience of all AIBA officials is optimised.
As part of AIBA’s ongoing work with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), four days of seminars and events was also conducted with coaches and athletes to continue AIBA’s ceaseless efforts to keep drugs out of boxing. In all, 170 participants from 48 countries took part in the exercises, designed to ensure a greater awareness of the dangers of drug-taking, the kinds of substances that are banned and the consequences and penalties for those who try them.
The Cutman seminar taught hand-wrapping best practice to representatives from 30 National Federations before further daily pre-competition practical sessions. The professional wrap was introduced to AOB boxing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and is now the preferred method for improved protection of the boxers’ hands and greater comfort. Correct teaching is vital in order for coaches to share the knowledge with their teams, and the seminars and sessions are set to be a recurring theme at AIBA competitions. Throughout 2017, HeadsUp will continue to gain traction with a host of initiatives to further embed this vital programme into AIBA activities at all levels.