KARACHI: One of the pioneers of women’s boxing in Pakistan, coach Younus Qambrani believes that women’s boxing has taken strong roots in Karachi after almost 70 players showed their willingness to compete at the upcoming Sindh Boxing Association (SBA) event, scheduled to commence from May 7.
Qambrani, who laid the foundation of women’s boxing in Lyari last year, is delighted with the way the sport has garnered interest in the city, however, he feels the women need a boxing ring if they are to pursue the sport professionally.
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“Women’s boxing has picked up in Karachi,” Qambrani told The Express Tribune. “I started female boxing in Lyari last year in September with my daughters. Now there are other clubs too, training aspiring female boxers to join in the movement. But despite the trend, we still struggle a lot as there is no boxing ring for women yet.”
Qambrani recalls that there was a time when his fellow coaches and former boxers would make fun of his endeavours in promoting female boxing.
“There was a time when my own friends would make fun of me. But now they are changing and accepting this as a proper sport,” revealed Qambrani. “Earlier in our culture, women weren’t even allowed to study in schools, but that changed, and now I want to involve the schools too to come to our female boxing events and send their students for training as well.”
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Qambrani further revealed that in Lyari alone, at least two clubs are providing training for women, while Kalyana Academy in New Karachi and New Karachi Gymkhana are also extremely active in promoting the sport.
Qambrani’s daughter, Anum, who is just 17 years old, meanwhile, wants to change the perception of the general populace towards women’s boxing. “I will be training every day as boxing has become much more than just a passion for me,” said Anum. “It’s about changing the perception as well.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.
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