By Samera Ali

My name is Samera and I am a mother of 4 children; my girls, Aamina, Maryum and Hawwa and my son Dawud. They’re all Kickboxers at USKA Fight Factory. I come to you with the story of how me and my girls persevered through sheer determination and the will of Allah against all prejudices.

After doing gymnastics at NBC Gymnastics for a few years in 2017, I enrolled my girls at USKA FIGHT FACTORY and a year later decided to enrol myself onto the ladies classes. My 3 girls attended the mixed classes, and also attended Tajweed and Islamic studies classes alongside which they also attended an Arabic language class. Every 3 months they would go for their grading for their belts. The girls and I worked our way to the orange belt which is an advanced belt and enabled us to now attend the advanced class. As months went on and my fitness grew, I then started to attend more sessions during the week with the girls. As you are reading this you may be wondering how we managed to juggle education, mosque, Arabic classes, and for myself, a full-time job. Others at the time also asked me this question. Alhamdulillah my answer has always been with Allah’s help, good routine, and determination! However, I was questioned as a mother many times on my parenting, such as: “If you’re training, who does the cooking at home, your husband!” These were only some of the comments I was given and my outlook on it was as follows but I knew it would help them to become strong females able to protect themselves which is what our religion teaches us to do.

...I knew it would help them to become strong females able to protect themselves which is what our religion teaches us to do.

After a year of hard work, I received student of the year award on the lady’s classes; this was awarded to me for my hard work and my ability to help train other women and encourage them to work hard. I always wanted to be an inspiration for my daughters, the girls in my family and other mothers out there, so this award meant so much to me. The year after, I got in the ring myself to compete at the age of 35 years old – honestly, I was living my dream as it was something I was unable to do as a child because when I was young, Muslim Pakistani girls were not allowed to train to fight in a mixed gym, additionally my mum was a single mom after my dad had died so couldn’t afford the lessons.

I remember the first time I got in the ring, all my family which included my sisters, brother, niece and nephews all came to watch. Even my Mum with her white scarf draped around her at the age of 70+ came. This was the proudest moment of my life. I would like to add I could not have achieved any of this without the support of my husband of course. Do not get me wrong, I had to fight a lot of cultural barriers, but with negotiations and explaining I managed to change the backward views and it was all worth it. All I could think was my girls were watching, my family was watching, I had to fight the stereotypical views to get there, but I did Alhamdulilah.

After covid, I took a different route and started studying for my Level 2 and 3 Personal training courses at PT Academy alongside training and coaching at FITBOX gym in Moseley. Sham and Adam encouraged me to start my own ladies circuit classes which I have, and it was the best thing I did. I love inspiring other women and providing a safe place for them to carryout solid circuit sessions to help them achieve their own personal goals. I developed as a coach and am now a Level 2 England boxing coach. I have had the privilege to coach at European prep camps, at Fight Like a Girl session and was given the opportunity to coach at the England Women’s Aspire Development program representing my region.

I really felt like I could inspire other mothers to start extra hobbies that they too can get involved in regardless of age.

At this stage in my life, I was praying all five prayers and the most important Thujjud prayer and I can honestly say this really did open doors for me. I went on to sit my official’s exam and passing that I am now an official England boxing judge. I am also a kickboxing judge too. While I had people second guessing me, I have never let the words of others bring me down instead I channelled them to fuel my desire to prosper. On my lowest time, I fell in prostration to my Allah, and he helped me through it. But Alhmdulilah my journey does not stop there; I still have a lot to achieve and inshallah I will continue working hard. I really felt like I could inspire other mothers to start extra hobbies that they too can get involved in regardless of age. We all worked well together as a family unit and that really helped us move forwards but also of course always making sure that Salah and religious obligation was a priority.


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