British-Pakistani, Haseebah Abdullah, is England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach, who has been selected as a “Hometown Hero” for Birmingham’s Commonwealth games 2022.
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She is among 14 other people to have been nominated for this title.
The list is made of people from different categories i.e. managers, umpires, fundraisers, and coaches; Abdullah enjoys the pleasure of being one of them.
She began training with her elder brothers at Windmill Boxing Gym in Smethwick (UK) at a young age. Since then, she has proactively worked towards women’s inclusion in this sport despite their faith and choice of clothing.
Additionally, the boxing coach played a part to help change the dress code for women in the sport. Owing to her efforts, women can now wear headscarves and cover themselves up from head to toe when training or competing.
Besides this, she wants women to be scored purely on their athletic performance and not on what they wear. By doing so, she wants to encourage other women and girls to come forward and pursue boxing and not let the fear of clothing give up on their dreams.
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Her aim is to lift the barriers that were there for her, so that other hijab-wearing women do not feel discouraged in this field anymore, and that endeavor alone deserves all the praise.
Haseebah Abdullah is not only a boxing coach at the Windmill’s, but also an inspiration for many young girls, who she trains and mentors both. Be it the sport or some other daily life struggle, she helps her students find a way out of it.
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