LAHORE – Safiyyah Syeed, 18, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, plans to enter the ring for her first official amateur fight later this year sporting the traditional headscarf as well as long sleeves and leggings. Hijab is mostly thought to be a hinderance for many abroad but Saffiyah is proving it she does not need anyone’s validation.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) last month lifted a ban on hijabs and other full-body uniforms that fighters wear for religious reasons.

She said: ‘Boxing keeps me sane and keeps me happy, I absolutely love it.

‘I started just for fun but I’ve really fallen in love with the sport.

‘I was bit worried at first about being a hijabi girl going into a boxing gym. It’s not what people are used to.

‘But everyone has been so nice and supportive. No one minds that I wear a hijab in the ring.

‘It doesn’t affect my boxing at all, some people think it might make it hard to move but I forget I’m even wearing it.’