Children Abused In Cage Fighting Ring Are Training For The Olympics
IT’S fight night at the Greenlands Labour Club, in Chatburn Road, Preston, Lancashire. The Lancashire Evening Telegraph reports on children as young as eight cage fighting before a crowd. It sees “a scantily clad ring girl parading between rounds” (that you Maddy Jackson?)
At one point, one of the youngsters appeared to be crying, and qualified medical staff were brought into the ring to assess the youngsters, who were not wearing head gear or padding.
The paper is looking to foment outrage. But a child crying can be indicative of many things. Have any readers seen a child cry at the school nativity play or at a ballet show? And don’t youngster do lots of judo and karate in their spare time? Indeed, cage fighting is also known as Mixed Martial Arts.
Event organiser Steven Nightingale claimed it was an ‘extremely good event’ and the club’s owner defended the spectacle. But medical experts at the British Medical Association today branded the bout “disturbing”.
But, presumably, not the same medical experts who were on hand to help the fighters?
Today Timothy Lipscomb, the Vicar of Preston, says:
“It is not the way we want children to be brought up. Up to a certain age they need protection, they do not need to see the senior side of life. It should not be a public spectacle to see them bashing the living daylight out of each other. Do you not think it encourages bullying and trying to use force to get your own way?”
No. When well taught, fighting is about controlling your aggression. Anorak would argue that bringing marital arts and other fighting sports teaches discipline and instills a sense of confidence in the individual. It allow the youth of burn off energy and aggression off the street. The problem her seems to be that cage fighting is a new sport. Boxing was once called prize fighting. It was given rules and became an Olympic sport.
A spokesman for the British Medical Association, offers:
“The BMA is opposed to boxing and cage fighting. This example of cage fighting among young children is particularly disturbing, especially as they are not even wearing head guards. Boxing and cage fighting are sometimes defended on the grounds that children learn to work through their aggression with discipline and control. The BMA believes there are many other sports, such as athletics, swimming, judo and football, which require discipline but do not pose the same threat of brain injury.”
What about rugby? In 2010 Professor Allyson Pollock, director of Edinburgh University’s Centre for International Public Health Policy, called for scums and high tackles to be banned:
“Concussion is under-reported because it’s not being monitored properly. Repeated concussions may have severe long-term consequences,” the professor added, warning that teachers and coaches have a duty of care towards children. If youngsters were coming back from school trips with these rates of injuries it would be enough to trigger a major inquiry.”
In the 193 matches played by 470 children in Scotland between January to April last year, the injury incidence during the match play was 10.8 injuries per 1,000 player hours.
It does seem does seem foolish that the young cage fighters are not wearing protective head gear but to single out this sport form many others is selective reporting. Maybe all children should wear had guards whatever sport they are playing, whether it be heading a football, scrummaging or playing squash.
Steven Nightingale, 28, a professional cage fighter who runs the Reps MMA gym, off Longridge Road, Preston, said the sport is safe and growing in popularity. He said: “…The kids are not getting hit or anything at all when they are under age. We do not let them strike – punch and kick – until the age of 14 or 15.”
Yep. These children are engaging in a non-contact sport.
Asked about the crying child during one bout, he said: “The kid has never been beaten before, he is the one who wins the gold medals. When they get beaten, they are going to get emotional, also the referee and corner man said you do not have to carry on. He (the youngster crying) had come from the far side of Manchester, he came with his coach, and it is something he had trained for.”
The paper then speaks with Michelle Anderson, owner of Greenlands Labour Club:
“Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?”
That’s not much a of a choice is it. Suggesting that without cage fighting the protagonists would be on the streets carrying knives and guns is alarmist nonsense that undermines the fighters’ parents and adds grist to the mill that the children are inherently violent and not participating in a sport…