Malaika Zahid grew up in Balochistan, a region where women’s lives are highly restricted. However, those obstacles never stopped her from fulfilling her dream i.e. to become a boxer. In fact, this Balochi girl even chopped off her hair to become a boxer!
When she decided she wanted to be a boxer, the only option she initially had was to join a boys’ training club. Her mind was set on becoming one of the top players in the country.
“I had started my boxing career from a boys club where I was the only girl practicing along with boys, which never deterred me from skipping my passion,” she told Arab News in an interview. “And I have knocked out many boys in our club.”
As she did not want anything to stand in her way to become a boxer, the Balochi girl soon chopped off her hair. Given that hails from Balochistan, the backwardness there never fazed Zahid.
“I wanted to cut my hair,” she added, “but it was my own decision and my father supported me.” In addition to this, Zahid gives credits for much of her success to her unconventional father, Muhammad Zahid, a police constable in Pakistan Railways Police.
WOW! Big accomplishments at the age of 15
Now 15, the girl from Quetta city has already won four golds in the lightweight category in interprovincial boxing championships. As well as a silver medal in last year’s National Games in Peshawar.
Zahid defended her first major title when she was 12, at a boxing tournament for girls in Karachi.
“I have seen international heavyweight boxer Muhammad Waseem, who was from Quetta, complaining about lack of resources and government support which forced many boxers in Balochistan to quit the boxing ring,” Zahid said.
The never-ending support from her father
Ever since the age of ten, Zahid first entered a boxing ring. Her father’s support has been crucial.
“I used to go to sports grounds with my father and cousins and started playing soccer and climbing walls,” Zahid said. “But one day I was watching a boxing match of international boxing player Amir Khan who inspired me and I requested my father that I want to become a boxing player.”
Hesitant at first, the father soon realized that Zahid genuinely loved the sport and had talent. “When I saw her passion and skills, I took her to one of Quetta’s famous boxing clubs headed by a senior provincial boxer,” her father said.
Though always into sports, British Pakistani boxing star Amir Khan fight inspired the girl to become a boxer
Watch the video below:
This year, Zahid was awarded the Balochistan Star Award by the Balochistan Youth Department, a prize to encourage young talent.
Courtesy: Arab News
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.