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Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 17:11 UK

British boxing chief Hickey quits

By Nabil Hassan

Boxing

British boxing's performance director Kevin Hickey has resigned from his position citing personal reasons.

Hickey was eight months into a role at the British Amateur Boxing Association having taken over from Terry Edwards following the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The 68-year-old insisted the decision had nothing to do with the GB team returning from the recent World Championships without a single medal.

"I was working seven days a week and it was impacting on my life," said Hickey.

"I was employed initially on a four-day week part-time contract, but the demands of the job meant that I was working longer than that and at this stage of my life I was not prepared to do that," he told BBC Sport.

606: DEBATE

"I had to take stock of my own life and realised it was impacting on my family and that had to be my priority.

"I informed the BABA on 30 July before the World Championships so their performance in Milan had no impact on my decision.

"It is unfortunate but I feel I have made the right decision at the right time."

Hickey had targeted a return of one medal from the World Championships in Milan but despite failing to achieve that the BABA were still positive about their performance in Italy.

And BABA chairman Derek Mapp also revealed that following Hickey's decision, they would now restructure the organisation and scrap the position of performance director.

"Kevin took the job with an agreement to get the structure right and form a template of what we needed to do in terms of rebuilding the squad after Beijing and he has done that," Mapp told BBC Sport.

"The position of BABA performance director has evolved to require different skills and Kevin feels it is now timely to pass the baton on.

"We now face a very different set of challenges with the inclusion of women's boxing at the Olympics and the new world series in which London will have a franchise.

"To that end the BABA will axe the job of performance director held by Hickey and instead appoint a new chief executive.

"We need a transition to someone who has a background in elite sport but with commercial expertise as well. The head coach role held by Kelvin Travis will remain how it has always been."

Mapp added that the successful candidate must be "dynamic, youthful and have commercial knowledge to help the organisation be self sustainable."

The BABA chairman was also buoyed by the performance of the GB team in Milan at September's World Championships.

If you consider we have a new team, new coaches and a new structure in place then these are still very early days. But we have the right systems in place to be successful in Beijing

Kevin Hickey

"I'm disappointed that we didn't return from Milan with a medal but there should be no negativity surrounding our performance in Italy," said Mapp.

"We went there without our best boxer (Bradley Saunders) who was injured and only Khalid Yafai was in the original squad from the Beijing Olympics.

"We had two boxers (Yafai and Scott Cardle) in the last eight in the world and the performance of Scott Cardle gives us great hope. If you look at the same cycle before Beijing we have done no worse."

Hickey added: "The results were ok and better overall then we expected despite the lack of medals.

"If you consider we have a new team, new coaches and a new structure in place then these are still very early days.

"But we have the right systems in place to be successful at London 2012."

Hickey leaves the BABA having been involved with British boxing since the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He was British coach for five Olympics until 1988 and was also later technical director at the British Olympic Association before his appointment in January.

It is expected that Lancashire-born Hickey will still be used on a consultancy basis by the BABA.

The BABA intend to advertise for the new position of chief executive on their website in the coming days with the closing date 7 October. They intend to interview on 15 October and hope to have someone in place by the end of November.



see also
GB fail to claim medals in Milan
09 Sep 09 |  Boxing
GB duo close in on World medals
08 Sep 09 |  Boxing
British boxing's next generation
31 Aug 09 |  Boxing
British boxers eye world medals
31 Aug 09 |  Boxing
GB finalise boxing coaching team
24 Mar 09 |  Boxing
Edwards expresses GB boxing fears
14 Jan 09 |  Boxing


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