When professional boxer and humanitarian Ramla Ali first started boxing, she didn’t see anyone else who looked like her. So male-dominated was the sport, many of the gyms she trained at didn’t even have women’s changing rooms. Still, she persevered, and boxing changed Ali’s life.
It brought her confidence and discipline, and Ali became the first Muslim woman to win an English title, before setting up Somalia’s boxing federation and becoming the first boxer in history to represented the country at the Olympics.
Knowing what a powerful tool sport can be for personal development, Ali vowed to even the playing field for others, and so, in 2018, Sisters Club was born. The idea was to provide a free weekly boxing class for women; a safe space where Muslim sisters could train with or without their hijabs, without ever fearing discrimination.
Today, her not-for-profit initiative has now grown into a global community. With the help of Nike, Sisters Club operates in four different London locations. Classes are designed to improve fitness levels, teach new skills and positively impact physical and mental health.
Ali has created a proud community of fighters, and she encourages long-term participation. Classes will always be free, and any woman is welcome, regardless of boxing experience, race or religion.