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Haseeba Abdullah – British-Pakistani Boxing Coach Named 'Hometown Hero' for Commonwealth Games


British-Pakistani Haseeba Abdullah is England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach and has been named “Hometown Hero” for the Commonwealth Games that will take place in 2022, in Birmingham. Birmingham Commonwealth Games webpage says that Ms. Abdullah has played a huge role in making the sport more inclusive. She helped change official dress code rules to allow women to wear a headscarf and full-length clothing when training or competing. Ms. Abdullah says, “I am overwhelmed at being named a ‘Hometown Hero’ … There was a time when I really wanted to compete and progress in the sport but was forced not to do so because of my hijab. At that time, for women to wear a hijab was not allowed by the boxing associations. That was the biggest barrier to getting involved in boxing for young women of Pakistani and other South Asian communities prior to the changes. Now we can wear full sleeves and cover our legs and even wear the hijab, if necessary. That’s an amazing change for women.” HH

 

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