The Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) has chosen Opro as the official and exclusive mouthguard supplier to its 715 clubs.
The decision follows concerns raised by the ABAE that, whilst many mouthguards sold in the UK show the CE mark, there is no certification to back this up, meaning they may not have been properly tested. Opro mouthguards are the only ones in the world to have passed this EC accreditation.
Paul King, CEO of ABAE, said: ‘The ABAE wishes to ensure that all participants in the sport wear the best possible protection and mouthguards are of course a vital piece of the kit.
‘There have been recent developments with regard to setting new European Standards for mouthguards (indicated by the CE mark) and the chairman of the ABAE Medical Commission has sat on the committee developing these standards to ensure that the welfare of boxers has been considered.
‘The ABAE will soon be issuing new instructions and this will focus upon all participants in the sport only wearing mouthguards that are fully CE approved and have valid CE certification to prove this. At this time the ABAE have reviewed the mouthguards available in the UK and only Opro Custom Mouthguards and the Opro Shield Range have valid CE certification.’
Dr Anthony Lovat, managing director at OPRO, said: ‘Anyone purchasing a mouthguard should be aware that whilst it might show a CE mark on the packaging, it has not been awarded this proven safety standard or undergone the necessary rigourous tests.
‘The problem lies in the fact that no EN standard exists which makes certification more complex and time consuming. However there is no defence in my view and there are some companies that may be ignoring the provisions of the law. The ABAE has understood the serious nature of this issue and has responded quickly to ensure the welfare of its members.’
Opro is the world’s largest supplier of premium, custom-fitting mouthguards. The company was set up in 1995 by Dr Lovat, a dental surgeon, who was horrified by the number of patients who had suffered terrible, permanent damage as a result of avoidable sports injuries.
The ABAE is the sport’s national governing body, representing England as a member of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the European Amateur Boxing Association (EABA). It has over 14,000 members and over 715 clubs.