The talented girls of Lyari are getting a very special Eid present: a brand new boxing ring! The Pak Shaheen Gym where the young boxers had been training for over a year was in a desperate state of disrepair when Ideas by Gul Ahmed offered to transform the gym and provide equipment for the young boxers.
Now, a state of the art boxing ring has replaced the bare concrete floor for the girls to practice and a completely refurbished gym has been built for them to train. Ideas provided training kits and quality apparatus to the club. The reaction of the young boxers, as they saw their bright new gym and equipment, was heartwarming.
Azmeenah, one of the young boxers, explains why the club is so important to her:
“Boxing is important for girls because, in our society, girls don’t have value. Boxing empowers us and makes us independent. Sometimes my parents tell me not to leave the house alone because men misbehave on the roads. Through boxing we can protect ourselves from such men and go outside.
“When I used to fight with my brothers at home I would lose. Now I know that I can win.”
The girls call the ‘Pak Shaheen Gym’ a beacon of hope. It is one of the only women’s boxing clubs and has become a safe space for young women in the area to exercise, forge friendships and hone their talent.
Nine-year old Areesh who trains at the gym said “I will do whatever it takes. Insha’Allah I will make it to the Olympics and make all Pakistan proud.”
Playing sports promotes the concepts of fair play, perseverance and meritocracy. The entire country benefits when we all move in this direction.” said Ziad Bashir, Director Ideas.
The Lyari boxing club renovation is Idea’s fourth project this year towards women’s empowerment, urban regeneration and the championing of the underprivileged.