Woman trains men to box in Egyptian agricultural heartland

BENI SUEF, Egypt (Reuters) – Two times a week in a little fitness center space in the Egyptian city of Beni Suef, 36-year-old Sabah Saqr coaches boys and young boys to box.

A lady training guys might not be that uncommon in the capital, however in Beni Suef, which lies 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Cairo in a farming location, custom frequently restricts ladies’s functions.

“I started boxing by accident,” stated Saqr, who was identified by a coach impressed by her strength and energy. “I didn’t used to like it because I was worried about my face, about being hit.”

Yet Saqr started to do well, winning numerous champions and more than 10 medals prior to beginning to coach 2 years back.

Now a working mom with one boy, she trains around 20 guys in between the ages of 18 and 30.

“At first this situation wasn’t accepted. As you know, in Upper (southern) Egypt, it was hard (to coach) in sports like boxing,” stated Saqr. “In addition the fact that it is a girl doing the training made it a bit harder.”

She states her severe method assisted her gain regard and trust.

“For a woman to train a man isn’t a very good thing in Upper Egypt,” stated Amr Salah Eldin, who trains with Saqr after conquering his preliminary unwillingness.

However her “experience and excellence” amidst an absence of boxing coaches in Beni Suef made him provide it a shot and he now delights in training with her, he stated.

(Reporting by Sayed Sheasha; Composing by Nadeen Ebrahim; Modifying by Aidan Lewis and Raissa Kasolowsky)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.