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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association (WA) has called on the Federal Health Minister to take immediate action to ban children from taking part in organised combat sports competitions.
“We have seen some of the promotional material being used for combat sport events in Queensland and frankly it is disgusting,” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said.
“This is not about fitness, this is about manipulation and abuse of children for the entertainment and profit of adults.
“The kids don’t organise this themselves – we have said before that this sort of competition for children is child abuse. The promotion of this competition is a worrying development in our society.
“Promoters should not be permitted to make money from young children engaging in violence against each other. Adults should not be permitted to enrol their children into these sorts of violent activities. Queensland has failed to take action on combat sports for years and promoters are using that loophole to organise these sorts of events.
“As the state won’t take action, the Federal Minister for Health and Sport must show leadership and set limits on where this is heading.
“As doctors we are concerned for the physical and mental health of children being encouraged by parents to engage in rigorous training for concussion sports, and then take part in fighting other kids. The developing brain is particularly vulnerable and the use of helmets is ineffective in preventing long term damage from repeated blows.
“For more than 15 years successive Queensland governments have attempted to review the complete lack of regulations in combat sports in the State. Nothing has been changed and these sports remain self-regulated.
“We are aware that a Parliamentary Inquiry into high risk combat sports management is underway in Queensland however public hearings were cancelled with no reason given.
“Governments Australia-wide should let kids be kids and stop this barbaric nonsense before it spreads and causes more permanent damage to children. The adults involved should grow up,” Dr Miller said.