If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
Isn’t that just so true? When you’re growing up how are you meant to know what you can be or who you can be? You can look at your parents, your friends' parents and your teachers but beyond that, without some divine inspiration, the workplace and “careers” remain a mystery.
That, and because it’s the year of the woman (don’t you know), is why it’s so important to champion grass root movements that widen young girls' horizons. Clubs, groups and organisations that give girls a home to flourish, a place to root down and find out what sort of metal they’re made of.
Boxing is still a male-dominated sport and as such opportunities for young girls to try it out are few and far between. Does that surprise you? Would you sign your daughter up to boxing? Would your daughter even know to ask to try boxing?
The thought of boxing or the idea that I could box hadn’t once crossed my mind until this January when I signed up to try it as a new workout.
From my years of doing yoga I was fully aware of how feeling strong and in touch with your body can radically improve your mental health and confidence. I had experienced how knowing that I could fly into an eagle pose had helped me walk into rooms with my head held a little higher - but it wasn’t until I’d been taught to box that I understood what feeling powerful really meant.
It’s taken nearly 30 years but I finally understand feeling strong, feeling capable and feeling powerful. Real, actual, superhero-level power.
I don’t suddenly want to punch everyone I meet and I haven’t got into any fights but I have started conversations I wouldn’t have before, I’ve asserted myself at work and I’ve fallen in love with my body all over again. My strong, muscular, powerful body.
Amy Andrews, amateur boxer and boxing coach, knows first hand the huge impact boxing can have on health, happiness and self-esteem and so when she’s not in the ring she works hard to get more girls into boxing. She’s seen a 12-year-old girl use boxing to help her battle through a cancer diagnoses and watched as girls find new strength and confidence through pad work and learning simple combos.
Along with top boxing gym Andrews is fundraising to support women’s boxing. To throw out the idea that “boxing is for boys” and to encourage girls to come and have a go and maybe even make a career out of it.
If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter I want her to feel this power I feel. I want her to hold her head high, to assert herself and to know and love her body as a thing of skill and strength. I want my daughter to know she can box if she wants to and for there to be a club filled with women like Amy ready to teach her. I want my daughter to know that no sport, not even boxing, is off limits for her.
Money raised by Amy and BXR will go towards the female arm of London Boxing. Sign up to attend the fundraiser on the 18th March (a boxing class at BXR) or.