At the end of 2023, our all-female personal development group, Lutadoras launched an exciting new series of podcasts called ‘LutaPod’!
‘LutaPod’ is a space for young women and girls to discuss and share their thoughts, views and experiences of their interaction in sport.
Each podcast will feature a special guest who has a positive relationship with sport, and will be asked questions about their experiences, as well as why it is important for women to be represented across all sports.
The aim is to positively influence how women and girls are viewed and received in sport by the wider public, as well as encourage more young women to participate in sporting activities.
Our first episode was hosted by the brilliant Asmaa and Coach Athena, both who actively participate in boxing and martial arts. Coach Athena has competed as an amateur boxer, and aims to empower and inspire women through boxing and fitness, particularly within the Muslim community. Asmaa also uses boxing and muay thai as a way to release tension and reach her fitness and wellbeing goals.
Each episode of the podcast welcomes inspiring sports women, and we were thrilled to kick the mighty series talking to Fight for Peace member and athlete, Catisa!
Catisa has been coming to Fight for Peace since the summer of 2023, and has progressed in leaps and bounds, beginning her martial arts journey with boxing, and moving into muay thai, judo and MMA. As a consistent mixed martial artist, it was a pleasure to hear Catisa’s perspectives in relation to being a young woman participating in traditionally male-dominated spaces.
During the episode Catisa spoke about many important topics, from exploring why she participates in her chosen sports, her engagement with men in the gym, and what it’s like being a young Black woman in sport, and some of the stereotypes she encountered on the way.
Without giving too much away, the latter point was really valuable to hear, as Catisa shared some of her early encounters with sport at school.
“Some sports I wasn’t even good at, like running… I hate running. They [the teachers] always used to put me in competitions for running. There were so many other girls that were better for that, but they thought just because I was Black, I could be in that sport,” shared Catisa.
“Even jumping, I’m not good at that stuff but they decided to put me there because of the stereotype that Black people are good at sports.”
Regardless of these stereotypes, which could have been damaging to Catisa’s relationship with sport, it is a testament to her that she was able to find another path into staying physically fit and active, falling in love with boxing, then moving to muay thai as a result of the confidence gained.
Catisa’s journey is a brilliant example of how many different paths there are into sport. As people, we surprise ourselves everyday with reaching new goals and achieving the ‘unachievable’, this rings true with sports too.
To anybody reading this who may be hesitant to try a new sport, you may surprise yourself with what you take to and enjoy. Whether it’s martial arts, football, swimming or even walking – you’ll never know until you try!
It was a real pleasure to hear from all three girls, and we are excited that our Lutadoras have this platform to express themselves, and positively influence the way women and girls are viewed in the sporting world.
Big thank you to our wonderful hosts, to Catisa for sharing her experiences, and to the champ Aladdin, for the brilliant production of ‘LutaPod’.
This project is part of a Sport England funded Advocacy project, which aims to address and break down some of the barriers young people face in sport. Big thank you to Sport England for their ongoing support of Fight for Peace’s work.