The Ethnic Minorities Training & Education Project (EMTEP) wanted to establish the Knockout Sister initiative in Newcastle to provide an opportunity for young women from the BAME community to participate in a boxing programme.
We agreed to provide EMTEP with Sportivate funding to run the activity over four, six-week sessions.
To provide young women from a BAME background with the opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity, in an environment that was suitable for their specific cultural and religious needs. The activity would also deliver benefits to the wider community by providing a positive stimulus to families and promoting social integration.
Participants would also receive training to achieve relevant coaching awards to enable them to deliver similar sessions to their community in the future.
The project actively involved women from the BAME community in determining venues, scheduling and costs to ensure as many barriers to participation as possible were removed. The chosen venue offered discounted access to the centre enabling continuation of women-only sessions which were hosted on the weekend and also during the week. There was a nominal charge to attendees of £2.00 per session which contributed to the cost of the centre hire and coach fees.
Coaching was provided by female coaches from Northumbria University in conjunction with the national governing body, The Amateur Boxing Association England.
In order to gain wider acceptance from the community, female family members were invited to observe the sessions so that they could see for themselves how cultural sensitivities were handled, thus overcoming negative perceptions of Asian women participating in sport and also seeing for themselves the mental and physical benefits of physical activity. Inviting spectators also helped to raise the profile of the programme among a traditionally difficult to reach community.
"It's not just brilliant for the women taking part, it benefits all of us as a community and a society, and that's superb. It's exactly what we're after, to benefit our community. " – Wajid Hussain (EMTEP)