To skirt or not to skirt: choice is the answer!
Score one for common sense and the best intentions of each member team of the International Amateur Boxing Association (“AIBA”): rather than requiring female boxers to wear skirts compulsorily, the AIBA has made it optional, thanks no doubt to the over 58,000 signatures received from an online petition strongly opposed to the imposition of mandatory boxing skirts.
Dr. Wu, head of the AIBA spoke at the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport noting, “We have never asked the women to wear skirts, compulsorily … some women want to wear shorts and some want to wear skirts … So the decision we have made is that we shall make it optional because many boxers are undecided.”
Dr. Wu further noted that there had been concerns raised by certain of the national federations to the skirting question which led to the decision to make it optional based on the decision of each individual member group.
Given the vehement opposition of boxers such as Ireland’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor, the decision is a wise one. The fact that the issue has come up at all at a time when the boxers should be focused on training in advance of the 2012 London summer games has been a distraction at best and a reminder of how far women’s boxing has yet to travel as an accepted sport.
For Americans who’ve just been treated to the first ever women’s boxing Olympic Trials this past week in Spokane, Washington, the news comes as a nice asterisk on a week of joyous celebration of the sport. From the perspective of Girlboxing, we wish the issue had never surfaced, but given that the Polish national team has already adopted the boxing skirt as part of the uniform, we do welcome the decision as the wise course.