Report: Girl, 8, to be in kickboxing bout
The eight-year-old daughter of Australian kickboxing champion John Wayne Parr was scheduled to get into the ring for a fight Saturday night, sparking controversy over children competing in the sport.
The eight-time world champion said safety was paramount and his daughter "Princess" Jasmine Parr and her pint-sized competitor, Brisbane's Georgina "Punch Out" Barton, would be kitted out with headgear, shin pads and 16-ounce (450g) gloves, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
While brain trauma experts expressed concern about young children participating in the contact sport, they said the benefits of exercise should be weighed against potential risks.
"I can understand where they're coming from, but we deal with the sport every day," Parr said.
"They're little girls, the power behind their techniques isn't going to be life-threatening, they'll be lucky to get a bruise out of it. The girls have 16-ounce gloves, so it's almost like hitting each other with pillows.
"If you can get a brain injury out of a pillow fight, you're having a bad day in the office."
Spokeswoman for Australian brain injury organization Synapse, Anna Petrou said brain injury could be acquired from minimal force and headgear would not offer complete protection.
"It doesn't take a lot of force for the brain to be impacted," she said. "For the girls ... it might not be the initial impact but [they] could lose their balance and fall ... which could impact them."
The girls were due to competed in Muay Thai -- a combat sport -- on a 15-fight card in Queensland's Gold Coast.