Posts Tagged ‘Afghan Women’s Boxing Team

17
Nov
11

Women’s Boxing: The brave, the few.

Women’s Boxing: The Brave, The Few.

Afghan Women Boxing, Credit: AFP/Katherine Haddon

First off a huge shout out to the BBC for their article on my favorite women on the planet the members of the Afghan Women’s Boxing Team.  The article by Mike Thomson, entitled, Afghan Women Strike Blow for Equality, brings focus once again on these remarkable athletes who are no less brave than the denizens of Virgil’s Aeneid, when they don the gloves.  The quote from the Aeneid, a favorite of boxers around the world, not to mention the words printed on the back of every Gleason’s Gym T-shirt are worth repeating in the context of these very courageous young women:

“Now whoever has courage, and a strong and collected spirit in his breast, let him come forward, lace on the gloves and put up his hands.”

There are no words than can truly describe the tenacity and grit of these young women — but I shall extend that to any women who overcomes adversity as a metaphoric taking up of arms.

Think of this.

Think of the violence that women are subjected to by lovers, husbands, fathers, stepfathers, cousins, uncles and so on.

Think of Rola El-Halabi who has had her career taken from her by her stepfather who shot her in the hand, the knee and the foot.

Think of Christy Martin who was left for dead after being stabbed, beaten and shot by her husband.

And yet both these women have arisen.

Both stand tall and proud as beacons of hope for the hopeless.

The young Afghani girls who have taken up the gloves are also symbolic of hope; hope for their Afghani sisters who in many parts of the country are still terribly brutalized; and hope for all women who continue to be at risk for violence and abuse.

Sometimes all it takes is one step — and if in taking that step one finds oneself knocked down, there is always, always, always the next step to take to keep us going. In my view, those young Afghani girls are showing the way of just how to keep those steps coming.

 

 

 

 

25
Jul
11

Another round of odd bins: Women’s Boxing around the globe!

Another round of odd bins:  Women’s Boxing around the globe!

The Burqa Boxers of Afghanistan!

Afghanistan teenage girls train at the infamous Ghazi Stadium. Photo: Kate Geraghty

My beloved Afghani Women’s Boxing team, coined the Burqa Boxers have hit the news again — this time in the Sydney Morning Herald.  These brave young women and their coach continue to defy the odds just by showing up for practice twice a week! As quoted by writer Ben Doughty, Coach Mohammad Sabir Sharifi said, “”We will all work hard, and we will select the best, the strongest and the most talented and we will hope to have one of our girls represent our country at the Olympics.”  Here’s hoping that they do. This highly recommended article and pictural essay can be found here.

A win in Mexico!

Irma Sanchez (L) v. Carlota Santos

Irma “Guerita” Sanchez (20-5-1, 5KO’s) was sucessful in her quest for the WBF female flyweight belt against Panamanian Carlota Santos (5-2-4, 4KO’s) with a TKO victory in the seventh round of the bout.  With her win, Sanchez becomes the first female Mexican boxer to hold two world championships across two weight divisions. The fight was on the “Puños de ierro” card promoted by Hector Garcia’s HG BOXING at the Coliseo Olimpico de Guadalajara, Jalisco on Saturday night (7/23/2011).

Thank you Detroit Free Press!

Queen Underwood and Tiara Brown @ the Nationals, Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP

Queen Underwood and Tiara Brown @ the Nationals, Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP

Andrecia Wasson

Jo-Ann Barnass writing for the Detroit Free Press has a terrific piece entitled, 2012 Summer Olympics: Three classes are not enough for women’s boxing that is really a must read. Barnass publicizes the fact the three Olympic weight classes (Flyweight-112, Lightweight-132, Middleweight-165) have effectively curtailed the Olympic dreams of many women who are unable to step up or down in weight enough to make one of the sanctioned weight classes.  Her case in point is boxer Andrecia Wasson who  won the world welterweight title in Barbados last year, but at 152 pounds does not easily fall into either the lightweight or middleweight category.  Girlboxing has to agree that the limitation on weight classes is unnecessarily hampering the opportunities for women at the 2012 Olympics and applauds the Detroit Free Press for running this important piece!  The link to the piece is here.

Here’s some third round action of Andrecia Wasson at the 2010 Ringside World Championships

28
Apr
11

“We work for the future, because the past is lost.”

“We work for the future, because the past is lost.”

Female boxers in Afghanistan, Credit: Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

As Girlboxing readers know, I just can’t get enough of the Afghan Women’s Boxing Team. The Los Angeles Times has obliged with an in-depth feature piece by Molly Hennessy-Fiske.  The haunting money quote by the team’s coach, Mohammad Sabir Sharifi truly resonated with me: “We work for the future, because the past is lost.”

Sharifi and some of the young women he trains have a received threats, and yet they persevere.  As if to punctuate the pluckiness of these brave young women, two members of the team traveled unaccompanied all the way to Turkey by train and competed in the early rounds of the ongoing AIBA Women’s and Youth Junior World Boxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey.

These young women who train in the face of continuing threats of violence due to nothing more than their gender are emblematic of how much further we all have to come.  I applaud their bravery and as the mother of an 11-year-old girl, feel particularly humbled by the love and support these young women receive from their families and their coach as they pursue their Olympic dreams.

Way to go!!!

The full LA Times article link is here.




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