- Title: Gaza's female boxers train on the beach amid coronavirus closures
- Date: 27th May 2020
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (MAY 21, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BOXING COACH, OSAMA AYOB, TRAINING WITH A TEAM OF TEENAGE GIRLS ON A SIDEWALK BY THE SEA YOUNG GIRL PRACTISING PUNCHING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) 15 YEAR-OLD GAZA RESIDENT AND BOXER, MALAK MESLEH, SAYING: "We decided to train outside because the club is indoors, which would make it easier for the virus to spread. We decided to come to the seaside because there is more air circulation here and the sea gives us positive energy. We get rid of the negative energy inside us. Since we decided to come here by the sea, we are finding it better and more fun than indoors, in the club." AYOB EXPLAINING MOVES TO HIS BOXERS VARIOUS OF TEAM MEMBERS TRAINING WITH EACH OTHER AND AYOB (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BOXING COACH, OSAMA AYOB, SAYING: "When we moved to the seaside, the team's families liked it, the girls as well, because of the coronavirus. By the sea, there is more space and we can keep distance. In the indoor club hall, the space is limited and the virus can spread." VARIOUS OF TEAM MEMBERS WARMING UP BEFORE BOXING TRAINING AYOB AND HIS TEAM SITTING BY THE SEASIDE DURING SUNSET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) 15 YEAR-OLD GAZA RESIDENT AND BOXER, MALAK MESLEH, SAYING: "For sure, they (our families) are happy. We are avoiding the coronavirus and continuing our training. I am sure that they are proud of us." GAZA CITY, GAZA (MAY 23, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AYOB AND HIS TEAM DURING TRAINING BY THE SEASIDE, TEAM MEMBERS WEARING FACE MASK
- Embargoed: 10th June 2020 10:42
- Keywords: Boxing Coronavirus Gaza Girls Palestinians
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001CFPIFKL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wearing trainers and white boxing gloves, coach Osama Ayob's young female boxers barely take notice of the curious passers-by who gathered around their makeshift ring by the seaside in Gaza City.
One of the boxers, 15 year-old Malak Mesleh, said she would rather train in public than miss out on sessions or, worse yet, risk catching the coronavirus by practising in the team's indoor gym.
The sight of over a dozen girls boxing in public is an unsual one in the Mediterranean coastal enclave, where the sport is mostly popular with men.
The girls' 34 year-old coach, Osama Ayob, said the public training sessions could help get more girls involved in the sport. Some families walking past already asked whether they could enrol their daughters as well, he added.
Gaza has reported 57 COVID-19 cases so far, with one death. Schools, wedding halls and gyms have been closed but the strip's Islamist rulers Hamas did not impose a full lockdown.
(Production: Abed Shana, Nihad Khalil, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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