England’s first hijab-wearing boxing coach has been unveiled as one of the 14 Commonwealth Games ‘Hometown Heroes’.

Haseebah Abdullah smashed all stereotypes as a first hijab-wearing boxing coach, and was the first to challenge the rules on what is worn in the ring.

It’s thanks to her that female boxers across the country are now able to compete in full length clothing and headscarves.

She explains that, as a woman who wears a headscarf for religious reasons, she “wasn’t willing to compromise that for amateur bouts”.

So when she was unable to compete in the sport due to the official clothing rules, she set to work on making change happen.

When she became a coach, one of her main goals was to was push forward and have a hand to play on changing the rules around clothing.

“I think regardless of the faith of a woman, we should be judged on our athletic performance and nothing else,” she says.

Haseebah says since the change to the rule she has witnessed much more female participation in boxing in her community – with membership numbers increasing and confidence growing.

She has become an incredible ambassador for women’s sport.

She began training at Windmill Boxing Gym in Smethwick as a young girl alongside her four older brothers.

Since then, she’s gone on to become one of the gym’s most respected coaches, working hard to specifically develop female participation in boxing amongst her community.

She spends most of her evenings and weekends at the club, but it has never felt like a chore for Haseebah, as she is focussed on getting the best out of her community and unlocking their potential.

Loved by 170 members of her club, Haseebah is known for her bubbly character and for making others feel welcome and comfortable.

Haseebah is one of the 14 Commonwealth Games ‘Hometown Heroes’. The category is made up of coaches, managers, umpires, and fundraisers who have dedicated their lives to grassroots sport.