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Irish Muslim Women Making a Mark at Tralee Boxing Club

For years, Kerry Muslim woman Rahma Eldars had always wanted to join a boxing club. But the absence of “Muslim-friendly” clubs in the southwest Irish county was always a barrier.

So it was a great joy for her when she learnt that Tralee Boxing Club was providing a safe place for Muslim women to take part in training sessions in 2022.

“As a Muslim girl, I found the club great for developing my character, boosting my confidence, and giving me the strength I never had before,” Rahma told

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“I’d like to give a special thanks to Lynda for making me feel welcome and accepted right away. I would strongly recommend this club to anyone wanting bravery and success,” Rahma added.

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Irish Muslim Women Making a Mark at Tralee Boxing Club - About Islam

The club’s initiative to include more Muslim women in sport started in 2022 when club secretary and coach Lynda McGrath welcomed members from Kerry’s Islamic Outreach Society Ladies’ Program to train and become members of Tralee Boxing Club.

With 40 percent of its coaching staff female, the club was in the perfect position to accommodate Muslim women.

Safe Place

Today, about 20 Muslim women and children are taking part in training sessions on Saturday and Sunday at the gym.

“They are great women. They have really taken to the sport, and they enjoy it,” Lynda said.

“We’re one of only a few clubs in Ireland to roll out this initiative. Initially, on Sunday mornings, we had an all-male coaching staff. But this was changed to an all-female staff, which meant Muslim women could be integrated into our Sunday morning class,” Lynda added.

Lynda believes that boxing builds fitness and personal character, hoping to expand her initiative to introduce boxing to people of all ages and abilities.

“I’m very impressed with the level of interest Muslim women have shown the sport, they’re really up for it. This gives us great pride and pleasure as a club,” said Lynda.

“We’ve done this for other sectors in our community as well – some of whom may be themselves marginalized because of a disability,” Lynda said.

“There is always some part of boxing that people can partake in. We found this has shaped people’s lives; boxing is a sport for everyone, it’s empowering.”

According to the 2016 Pew Research Centre report, Ireland’s Muslim population stands at approximately 70,000.