West Lothian boxing gym forms link-up with gym in Egypt

By Callum Carson

A boxing gym in Whitburn has formed an unlikely partnership with a gym in Egypt in a bid to help promote female boxing in the country.

Warriors Gym is set to sponsor t-shirts for young female boxers at the Valley Kings Gym in the city of Hurghada.

And as part of the link-up, the girls from both gyms will trade training techniques, advice and hopefully one day trips to meet each other in person.

The Warriors girls are also hoping the partnership can help break down the social stigma attached to youth female boxing in Egypt.

The move came about thanks to the friendship between Warriors Gym owner David Orr and Faisel Ghazghazi of Valley Kings.

Warriors had money left over from a recent fundraiser with David saying a social media post from his friend sparked the initial interest in getting involved.

He told the Courier: “It’s a bit of a unique link-up but we’re delighted to help out.

“I’ve known Faisel for quite a while and he’d been across to Egypt doing work with kids, as well as adults.

“It caught my eye when I saw he was trying to break down the barriers and get girls involved in the sport because it is something that a lot of people frown upon in Egypt.

“He put a post up on Facebook looking for sponsorship for the girls’ t-shirts at the gym and that’s something that immediately sparked an interest.

“We had recently had a fundraiser ourselves for our gym and there was a wee bit of money left over that we wanted to go to a good cause.

“We spoke about it in the gym and everyone fully backed the idea and it’s kind of incredible to think a small fundraiser we had is going to help girls on the other side of the world.

“It makes the girls feel part of something else. We’re all part of the boxing family so it was an easy sell in terms of everyone agreeing that it was a great idea to sponsor the t-shirts.”

David added: “We want this to be the start of a big relationship between the two gyms. If there’s anything we can do to help them and vice versa then it’s a great link-up for both gyms.

“The girls will have almost like a pen-pal situation and they’ll get to know each other.

“We’ll send videos of what we do at the gym and how we train and they’ll send stuff to us and hopefully we can all learn a few things from each other and benefit the girls from both gyms.

“Girls’ boxing in Scotland is in a really good place but it’s maybe not quite the same in Egypt and if we’re able to play any part in improving that situation, then it’s remarkable.”

Social media makes it easy to stay in touch and share videos and updates, but David is keen to get the girls at his gym over to Egypt once it is possible.

He explained: “What we’d be looking to do once everything is set up over there and all the covid restrictions are lifted, is try and get the girls over there. That would be the ultimate aim and a brilliant experience for everyone.”

David’s daughter Phoebe Orr (15) is one of the girls currently part of Warriors Gym and she is looking forward to what the partnership could bring.

She said: “It’s a unique situation and all the girls are excited to be part of the link-up with a gym in Egypt.

“If we can help break down some barriers and get more girls involved, it would be great and hopefully we can all learn from each other.

“A trip over there would be incredible to experience as well. We’re all looking forward to seeing what will happen.”

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