Behind the Punch: Hadeel Ashour, Boxer

As a child, Hadeel always liked being active, often finding herself swimming or playing football.

After graduating in 2016, with a degree in Architecture, she was hired at a firm, where she realized working at a desk for eight hours deterred her from having a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

This led her to join the gym to attend aerobics, “After a while, I started focusing on building my strength and eating healthy. Of course, being at the gym brought so many good things not just training and its benefits but also getting to know people of different ages, experiences, and personalities. So one day I heard from a friend that there was a coach who gives boxing classes.

I always wanted to learn self-defense, so I started my journey with this coach, and after eight months a private gym announced that they were arranging a competition and I went for it and won my first gold medal.”

Since then, Hadeel has kept on her competitive streak participating in various tournaments. She shared, “Preparing for a competition motivates me to train daily to be prepared for the whole season. Regardless of how much I’m stressed with work or how much life can get busy or even hard. Having a competition ahead of me keeps me alert and careful about what to eat and what not to eat. what bad habits to avoid and always trying to get better.”

Seeing the role organized competitions play in boxing, we asked Hadeel about her take on the future of the sport, “The Ministry of Sports is doing great work supporting and arranging the federations. I’d say the Saudi Boxing Federation is taking the right steps to improve our sport. And we are lucky that we have Vice President Rasha Al Khamis who is always supporting us and doing everything in her power so that we, the women here in Saudi Arabia, get our best chances.”

What does a day in the life of a boxer look like?
“I work from 9 to 5. If I have a competition, I train twice a day. I wake up at 6 am, hit the gym, and then go to work, and after that, I go to the gym again. But on a regular basis, I train every day after work, and I’m watching my food as much as I can, and my sleep also  because it plays an important role in recovery.”

Instagram: hadeelboxing

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