The safety of Thai boxing

SIR - I was appalled at the parents featured in the Cutting Edge Baby fight club programme, but concerned by Louise McEvoy s report in last weeks Comet. I have trained and fought in Thai Boxing for eight years. My boyfriend is head coach of the Hitchin M

SIR - I was appalled at the parents' featured in the Cutting Edge Baby fight club programme, but concerned by Louise McEvoy's report in last weeks Comet.

I have trained and fought in Thai Boxing for eight years. My boyfriend is head coach of the Hitchin Minotaur Thai boxing gym. Thai boxing is fun, healthy and far from being "senseless and sadistic". Self confidence, fitness and discipline are just a few of the many benefits gained by the children at our gym. Qualified coaches are well aware of the negative impact resistance and excess training have on growing bodies. Many children do not compete, those that do, do so under strict safety regulations.

Within the UK, there are a minority of organisations that have no official sporting/government recognition. This enables a minority of people to run shows and clubs that do not adhere to best practice as exemplified on the programme. The programme does highlight the need for a unified regulation authority within the UK as seen in other countries.

A minority of parents behave like this regardless of sport. Only recently football has been in the press with referees and coaches of children's teams quitting due to parents bad behaviour.

Our gym has a friendly atmosphere where people of all ages gain many benefits from participating in the sport. I am confident other Thai boxing clubs serving Comet country (East Area, Eagles and Dragons) would agree with me. The very narrow view of the sport portrayed on the programme is not a true reflection of the values and sportsmanship involved. Please don't let one sided, shock tactic programmes dictate your views. The minority will always be out there ruining it for the rest of us.

JOANNE McKENARY

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