We the undersigned amateur boxing clubs feel that we must respond to allegations in the media recently calling into question the integrity of the sport we love.
We are the coaches and committee members who give our time freely and gladly to a sport that has always integrated our working-class communities. Throughout the darkest days of the Troubles, the boxing clubs and their coaches did not let conflict stand in the way of the sport.
The allegations that have been made by one boxing club have had a lot of publicity, but there are numerous boxing clubs whose only interest is the young people who come through the doors. We have no other agenda.
Our sole purpose is to make a difference to these young boxers. Boxing builds character; it instils discipline and respect. We are surprised and dismayed at the allegations, as we all have a common interest in ensuring boxers compete in a safe environment.
We would like to take this opportunity to state that everyone within amateur boxing totally condemns any kind of sectarian or racial abuse, but we cannot be held responsible for anyone outside the boxing community.
We appeal to the club in question to resolve the issues you have through dialogue as the only people suffering through your exclusion from boxing are the boys and girls who look to us as adults for leadership and encouragement.