Four years ago, Australian Muslim young woman Tina Rahimi broke into tears while making her first boxing fight.
“I didn’t really have much confidence,” she said. “I remember jumping in the ring and I did not feel fit at all. After the first round I was dropping my hands and I remember thinking ‘what am I doing? I am not fit enough for this?’” Australia Digital News Network reported.
“I did get my first win and I was happy but I knew I had to do a lot more if I wanted to continue with the sport.”
With 17 wins, Rahimi has made history as the first female Muslim boxer to represent Australia at 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“When I first got selected to go to the games I never knew that. I’d never thought of it like that. I just thought I was going to represent Australia,” she said.
“I just want to show everyone that anything is possible and show everyone what I can do.”
Rahimi, an Australian born daughter of Iranian parents, will compete wearing long sleeves, tights and hijab.
Qualifying for the games, the athlete says faith is part of her, forming an important part of her pre-fight routine.
“I have all my faith in God, I believe if it is meant to be it will be,” Rahimi said.
While most boxers will listen to music or walk out to the ring to a particular song Rahimi just prays.
“I obviously do my normal training and warm up but I’m constantly praying, praying, praying before I walk out,” she said.
“I ask God to give me the victory and I sit down and really reflect.” Rahimi said
From running to boxing and football, the rise of inspirational Muslim women in sport is in full swing.
Last year, England’s first hijabi boxing coach Haseebah Abdullah was recognized as a Birmingham “Hometown Hero”.
Rahimi is not the only hijabi boxer. Many female Muslim boxers joined the sport after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) amended its rules in 2019. The new rules allow Muslim boxers to wear a hijab and cover full body in the ring.