Ruqsana Begum: 'My story is bigger than boxing'

29 July 2020 09:00
The former Muay Thai world champion on arranged marriage, chronic fatigue syndrome, gym bullies and early wobbles in boxingThe tears of Ruqsana Begum, which splash down on the blue canvas of the ring, are not a sign of weakness. They are, instead, markers of the battles she has won over the years. As a young Bangladeshi woman from east London on her way to becoming a Muay Thai world champion, Begum endured an arranged marriage, panic attacks, depression, bullying in the gym and ravaging bouts of ME [chronic fatigue syndrome].She cries during our long interview on a hazy summer afternoon in Bethnal Green but never loses her composure. Each time the former kickboxing dynamo wipes away her tears, laughs a little while saying sorry, and continues. “Those moments have led me to this moment,” she says after one poignant pause, “where I now manage to not look for approval from outside. Rather, I go inwards and find strength from within.” Related: Sadaf Khadem: 'The problem is boxing, not the hijab – in Iran they say men only' | Donald McRae I’ve had some amazing moments here but also a lot of pain Continue readingreadfullarticle

Source: TheGuardian