England Boxing’s chief executive Mark Abberley is set to leave the organisation at the end of this month after more than four years in the role.
The decision was made by mutual consent between England Boxing’s Board and Abberley, who joined the national governing body as chief executive in May 2011 after previously working as a regional cluster manager in the David Lloyd Leisure Group.
Under his leadership, weekly participation in boxing rose by 21 per cent – from 119,900 in June 2011 to 145,100 in 2014 –according to Sport England’s Active People Survey, while the number of registered amateur boxing club members in England went from 16,500 in April 2011 to more than 18,000.
Abberley also oversaw a process of modernisation and reform of England Boxing's governance structures which included the acceptance of new Articles of Association by its members in November 2013 to create a new 12-person Board and amend the way directors are selected.
"Over the last four-and-a-half years, England Boxing has gone through a significant process of modernisation and now that this has been completed, I feel it is the right time to move on and pursue other professional opportunities," said Abberley.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at England Boxing and would like to thank all of the employees, the volunteers who do such a great job in boxing clubs and the boxers themselves who all contribute to making this such a fantastic sport.
"I wish the organisation every success in the future and hope it can build on the progress we have made over the last four-and-a-half years, and continue to be successful in delivering increasing participation and producing boxers with the potential to win medals at international championships and compete at the Olympic Games.”
England Boxing’s Board intends to make an interim appointment to oversee the organisation following Abberley’s departure and then begin a process to recruit a new full-time chief executive.
"Boxing in England has made huge progress under Mark’s leadership and I would like to thank him for the contribution he has made to the national governing body and to the development of the sport, which continually manages to deliver the twin goals of increased participation and elite medal success," said Caspar Hobbs, chairman of England Boxing.
"At the grassroots, participation is soaring and club membership is rising.
"More than 36,000 women participate weekly in contact and non-contact boxing and the sport is now offered in over 2,000 schools.
"At the elite level the talent pool has widened and record numbers of boxers developed and nurtured in the English club system have gone on to become world-class performers and consistently deliver medals at World and European Championships and the Olympic Games.
"Mark has also played a critical role in modernising the governance of England Boxing and creating a fit-for-purpose governing body that is better suited to the needs of its members and the people that deliver and participate in the sport at the grassroots.
"On behalf of the Board of England Boxing, I would like to thank Mark for his role in helping to deliver these fantastic achievements and all of his hard work and dedication over the last four years."
It was in April 2011 that Abberley took up the role of chief executive from Paul King, who had held the position since March 2005 on a long-term secondment from Liverpool City Council.
Despite Abberley's appointment, King was heavy favourite to retain the role of chief executive but withdrew his application to assume the position on a permanent basis because of the fall-out from his unsuccessful campaign to challenge C K Wu for the Presidency of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
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