Jacqui was appointed to the Commission in February 2018 and is currently Manager, Governance and Industry Development at the department, having previously worked across many other areas including Organisational Development, Community Participation and High Performance.
In this role, Jacqui works with many State Sporting Associations and Industry Representative Organisations, their chief executive officers and boards, to support implementation of strong governance, leadership and management practices. She has a strong governance background through the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and the Governance Institute of Australia — Governance and Risk Management Certificate as well as sitting on various boards and nominations committees.
Through work in and out of government Jacqui contributes a strong working knowledge of community and elite level sport.
Contestant safety project
As part of its ongoing work to address rapid weight loss through dehydration by contestants, the Commission released a guide around the issue and in February 2020 released a Contestant Safety Strategy to Address Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Cutting) by Dehydration.
The Commission has put a focus on education and building awareness around the dangers of weight cutting as highlighted by the strategy as a way to contribute to a healthier and safer combat sports community in WA. Other aspects of the strategy were scheduled for a launch in June 2020 but due to the restriction on the number of people attending public gatherings, implementation has been delayed until contests recommence.
The Commission also provided information to West Australian Coroner’s Court in the inquest into the 2017 death of Jessica Jackson (Lindsay).
Access to the strategy and other important health and safety information can be found on the Commission’s web page.
Online education unit
The Commission launched an online education unit for combat sport registrants in WA. It provides contestants and industry participants with essential information for Commission registration and participating in combat sports.
From 1 January 2020, all new and renewing registrants are required to complete the online education unit as a condition of registration.
The Commission also encourages existing registrants to complete the unit as a matter of best practice, to mentor and assist new registrants and continue to promote health and safety in the community. Existing registrants who complete the unit won’t be required to complete it again when next renewing their registration.
We encourage you to prepare well, perform better! Access the online education unit.
Industry Development Series
The Industry Development Series is part of the Commission’s commitment to ongoing training and development. To complement other work, the 2020 event focussed on healthier and safer contestant preparation and featured presentations by The Fight Dietician Jordan Sullivan and Edith Cowan University lecturer on exercise physiology Dr Oliver Barley. They discussed using nutrition and training to make weight rather than weight cutting by dehydration and the decreased aerobic and anerobic performance
from weight cutting by dehydration. The event was well attended and the feedback strong about the information being useful and usable.
From 1 July 2019, Seconds were required to be registered. The role of the second is to support the trainer in the contestant’s corner and their registration further ensures the integrity of contests.
MMA weight class table changes
Under Combat Sports Regulations 2004 the Commission proposed an expansion to the MMA weight class table, taking it from eight to 14 classes in order to provide greater choices for athletes looking to find a safe weight class. The proposed changes would reflect the MMA weight classes of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports Unified Rules of MMA (ABC Unified Rules). Local feedback was sought and changes will come into play in the second half of 2020.
Wraps and gloves
In November the Commission released a position statement to clearly delineate the responsibility of the signing of contestant wraps and gloves at Commission-sanctioned events. It explained the responsibilities of the permit holder, contestant, head referee and Commission representative in the bandaging, taping and signing of contestant’s wraps and gloves.
Padding requirement change
From September 2019 there were changes to the padding requirements for Muay Thai, kickboxing and MMA. The changes were in Muay Thai with the removal of chest padding for those 18 and over and in MMA, increased padding was introduced for the first six contests. Padding for junior contestants in Muay Thai and kickboxing remains the same.
The Commission approved 23 contests in 2019/20 across all disciplines including boxing, mixed martial arts and Muay Thai. Between 21 March and 30 June 2020, 15 contests were cancelled due to COVID-19.
A number of breaches of the Act and the Regulations occurred this financial year, however, the Commission is pleased to see that the number of breaches remained relatively low.
The Commission continued to maintain a database of reportable injuries suffered by contestants. Reportable injuries are defined as any injury sustained during a contest that is recorded on the Post Contest Medical Examination Form and required treatment from the ringside medical practitioner or follow up treatment after the contest.
Of the 600 contestants participating in the 23 contests directly overseen by the Commission in 2019/20, there were 85 reportable injuries. This equates to 14.16% of contestants suffering an injury during a contest and is a 5.91% increase from 2018/19.
Further analysis of those 85 reportable injuries shows 17 mandatory medical suspensions were issued, nine concussions, 30 lacerations requiring steri-strips, glue or sutures, six dislocations, breaks or referrals for x-rays and 40 miscellaneous injuries ranging from bruises and sprains to strains.
Communications and industry contact
The Commission provided the industry with a variety of information over the last year, including information on proposed contest dates, current projects, opportunities for engagement and policies.
We have continued to use Facebook as a key stakeholder engagement tool. It’s used to share important information, messages and policies with the industry and community. Like our page to connect with the Commission and the combat sports community: @combatsportscommissionwa
The commission actively utilises MailChimp for global emails and the website as platforms to communicate regularly with the industry.
Our recently introduced tagline “prepare well, perform better” has been well received and can be seen on new branded documents. This tagline talks to the Commission’s view on the dangerous practice of weight cutting.
New online portal
The Commission worked on the development of a new online registration and promotion application portal and generally increasing its online presence. The new online portal provides a new streamlined process for all registrations, permit applications and submission of key documents such as certificates of fitness and serology reports. Registrants will be able to view and update personal details, view their fight records and the expiry dates of their registration, certificate of fitness and serology. Promoters will be able to lodge part 1 and part 2 promotion permits and update fight cards as changes occur. Training opportunities for all users are being planned.
Supporters and partners
Without the support of the Combat Sports Commission’s major partners, a great deal of the Commission’s work would not be possible. The contribution of these partners and supporters is gratefully acknowledged:
- Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
- Western Australian Police
- New South Wales Combat Sports Authority
- Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board of Victoria
- South Australian Boxing and Martial Arts Advisory Committee
- Controlled Sports – ACT.