Boxing champ inspires new drama

Ambreen Sadiq

Ambreen Sadiq

First published in What's On

A MEMBER of Eastburn Amateur Boxing Club who became Britain's first female Muslim boxer is helping to train actors who are sharing her extraordinary story in a play.

Olympic hopeful Ambreen Sadiq, 20, is the boxing coach featured in a production to be staged in a Bradford gym next week.

Ambreen's decision to box meant she faced a large amount of prejudice, and even received death threats, from people who felt boxing was not something a Muslim girl should be involved in.

The story has inspired a play by the Common Wealth Theatre group called No Guts, No Heart, No Glory which was performed at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a boxing gym.

It will be showcased in Ambreen's own gym, Huggy's, in West Bowling, from next Tuesday until September 21.

The group hopes the production will help inspire young Muslim girls to look beyond the stereotypes of what is expected of them.

Ambreen has been training the actors for almost six months, to make the play as authentic as possible. It features a local cast of girls and stars Saira Tabasum, who won the British University Championships two years ago.

Ambreen, who was national champion at age 16, said: "Initially I was contacted to do an interview about my life for a production about girls in boxing. I began to get more involved with the project and am now coaching the actresses so they know how to properly throw punches and the correct stances.

"An Asian girl or woman boxing is a huge thing in our culture especially when you are Pakistani and a Muslim, it’s seen as not very ladylike.

“I was told by some I was bringing shame on the community but I was determined to break down some barriers - and it’s my utmost wish that my story will help other young women to do the same.”

For further information, email theatre@bradford.ac.uk or call 01274 233200.

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