she shapes the city

Nadia Helmy Ahmed ~ Fighter

Nadia speaks softly using her slim fingers to emphasise her words, these are the same hands she has used decisively in her 15 years as a successful elite boxer. She was one of only 10 Danish women in the sport and it hasn’t always been easy.

When asked what it takes hold your own in this “man’s world” Nadia says “you need be a little rough around the edges”. Training is all consuming and she spent more time with her coach than her own family. Although there were many pre assumptions about who a boxer should be, and should look like, these came mainly from those outside the sport. Once her teammates understood that she was serious and passionate and not there for the “dating scene” she found a home from home.

All that she gave in terms of respect and sweat for her coach, team and the sport she was given back through tools that she learnt which she has taken into all areas of her life. Mental strength, structure and the discipline required, all these have guided her.

Nadia wanted to take these lessons to the girls in the community she trained and lived in and so she began girls boxing classes. Braband in Gellerup, an area of Western Aarhus, holds one of the biggest housing associations in the country and is what Nadia would call a “deprived area”. Before a recent renovation its grey blocks of apartments could look depressing in the Danish cold, however it is also a diverse  multicultural and close knit community “like a small village because most people know each other”. The sport allowed her local pupils to girls get acquainted with their bodies and their minds, taking their small successes from the ring into their every day life.

Now after 15 years of using her arms Nadia is using her legs to wield the same power. She has taken up thai boxing with a special focus on K1 using  strategies from Kickboxing, karate, kempo, traditional boxing and muay thai techniques. Nadia will represent Denmark in the world championships taking place in the UK this year, whatever the sport she remains a fighter.