Boxing ban for bearded fighters overturned in Wales

media captionAaron Singh wanted Wales to follow England and reverse the ban

A ruling that amateur fighters in Wales must be clean shaven will be overturned, Welsh Boxing has announced.

Aaron Singh, a Sikh, has welcomed the change as he had previously said the rule used by the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association (WABA) was discriminatory.

The 20-year-old Cardiff University student said he had "missed out on a lot of experiences" as he could not compete because of his faith.

Welsh Boxing said the rule change would be introduced from 1 August.

The Sikh principle of Kesh prevents the removal of any hair on the body, because it is considered sacred and a gift from God.

Mr Singh, who is from the East Midlands but studies in Cardiff, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast with Claire Summers it was a "very significant change".

"This means I can actually get my amateur career started as I wasn't able to before," he said.

"I would like to thank the WABA for even considering what I have had to say and actually making a change."

WABA chairman Derek McAndrew said: "This is an important rule change, which is in line with the WABA board's strategy of inclusivity for boxing in Wales, and takes effect in time for the new domestic season."

A WABA statement said the decision had been taken after receiving legal advice, consultation with the international regulatory body and an internal review of its domestic policies and rules.

The English amateur body, England Boxing, also reversed the ban following a campaign from Sikh and Muslim boxers.

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