By Nadine Tannous
Boxing, the last male-only sport in the summer Olympics, will finally include female competitors during the 2012 Games in London.
The change comes after the International Olympic Committee recently overturned the century-long ban on women’s boxing.
I am delighted that London 2012 will take its place in the Olympic tradition of advancing women in sport, chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee Sebastian Coe said.
Director of Sydney’s Self-Protection Consultancy Penny Gulliver believes this is a great improvement for women.
This is a huge step up because what it’s saying this is a legitimate sport, Gulliver said. It’s important women be given the opportunity to improve and become strong and competitive.
The inclusion of women in boxing at the Olympics has caused some controversy. The Australian Medical Association insists women’s boxing will glamorise the sport for a new audience.
It is no more dangerous to women than for men, Gulliver said. I think both boxing and kickboxing are great for improving your self-defence skills.
Gulliver was the first woman to be banned from kickboxing in New South Wales. This was followed by a 25-year ban, overturned last year, on women’s boxing and kickboxing in the state.