First boxing club opens its doors to Gaza women

Nidal Al Mugrabi

GAZA (Reuters) – At Gaza’s only women’s boxing club, 15-year-old Farah Abu Al-Kumsan trades moves, jabs and punches with other girls training with coach Osama Ayob at the Palestinian Boxing Center. practicing.

Since starting the sport at the age of nine, Farah has found relief from the day-to-day stresses of living in Gaza, a narrow coastal strip home to some 2.3 million Palestinians that has been blockaded by both Israel and neighboring Egypt. rice field.

“We used to train in a small garage. Now we train according to complete rules and release bad energy,” says the 15-year-old girl, the first female-only gym in the area. at the boxing center in

Six years ago, Ayoub started with two girls. As attendance grew, they moved out of the garage and began training on the beach and rented his space before moving into the new club building.

“The girls are ready. I trained them hard for five years,” said Ayoub. “We are setting an example.”

About 40 girls now train at the center, using a full-size boxing ring, training equipment and posters of boxing heroes such as Mike Tyson on the walls, making boxing traditionally male We are responding to the expectations of the region, which used to be sports.

“Some people were saying to me, ‘Why do you box and what are you going to get out of it, go learn something girly,'” said Farrar. “I have benefited a lot from boxing.My ambition today is to represent the Palestinian people at the World Championships.”

(Written by Nidal Almughrabi, edited by Timothy Heritage)

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