Two weeks ago, our all-female personal development group, Lutadoras, took a much anticipated weekend trip to West Yorkshire to visit the first ever female-led boxing club in the UK – The Northern Powerhouse Boxing Academy.
The three-day residential was not only a chance for the Lutadoras to bond between themselves and meet new friends, but an opportunity for both organisations to learn and grow through valuable exchanges of expertise and experience.
The trip was much anticipated, and after a long coach journey consisting of more singing than sleeping, the group arrived at their abode for the next few days.
One of the main objectives of the weekend was to nurture our partnership as two organisations who encourage young people to reach their full potential through boxing and martial arts. And what better way to nurture this partnership than with a boxing session and some friendly sparring?
The Lutadoras were greeted warmly by the Northern Powerhouse team at their academy in West Yorkshire.
“The energy inside the gym was incredible. It was amazing to see how determined they are, and I was impressed with how nice and controlled the Powerhouse gym was. It provided a safe environment for all of us women, which was a massive bonus,” said Katie-Wambui Kings, Lutadoras Coordinator at Fight for Peace.
The Northern Powerhouse hones in on the importance of eliminating some of the barriers that may deter young women from sports like boxing and martial arts, and it was great to be able to hear about the impact of having a female only gym within the community.
Following the group session, some of the young women went head-to-head for some sparring – a showcase of learning, skill and technique that both teams were able to gain from, forming a space to allow the partnership to grow both inside and outside of the ring.
The Lutadoras were pleased to be able to welcome some of the Powerhouse team to their home for the weekend to share a meal and discuss experiences and knowledge.
“Knowledge is developed through other people and it’s a really positive thing to exchange ideas. Otherwise, how are we going to get better?” Katie asked.
“We spoke about ways we can improve our approaches at Fight for Peace, and what some of us women need to make it more women friendly – especially in the context of struggles of female participation in boxing and martial arts,” Katie continued.
To say we have all of the answers and that we know everything is an unrealistic statement – that’s why at Fight for Peace we embrace every opportunity to learn and develop, building strong relationships with like minded organisations and individuals who have made such an impact within their communities.
These learnings allow us to identify ways in which we are able to better serve the young people that we work with. We are very grateful to Northern Powerhouse for hosting such a powerful weekend, and to all of the Lutadoras who helped make it so memorable. We hope to continue this partnership moving forward and can’t wait to see what’s next!
Our Lutadoras personal development sessions run every Thursday from 5-7.30pm and are open to all women and girls aged between 7 and 25.