Team GB's first female Sikh powerlifter on why we need more diversity in sport

South Asian Heritage Month looks to celebrate, educate and raise the profile of British South Asians.

As part of that, we're looking into British South Asians in sport and we looked no further than the first female Sikh to represent Team GB in powerlifting and the first British Pakistani boxing world champion.

Karenjeet Kaur Bains, 24, from Warwick, placed in the top 10 at the World and European Powerlifting Championships in 2019.

That same year she went on to win three gold medals at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships.

Karenjeet is hoping she can be an example for more diversity in just her sport but all sport.

The 24-year-old wants to show that she's living proof you can have be a success in education and sport.

And while she maybe a powerlifting champion, during the weekdays she's also a chartered accountant.

Karenjeet's dream is to become the first Sikh world champion but she also wants to more South Asian representation in sport.

On the other side of the Midlands, Jawaid Khaliq MBE, 50, has been making his own history, not only in Nottingham but the world.

He became the first British Pakistani boxing world champion after he won the International Boxing Organization (IBO) welterweight title in 2001.

Jawaid defended it seven times before retiring in 2006. But his love of boxing started after he left school.

He was inspired by the likes of Muhammed Ali, and soon joined his local gym. 

Only after seeing fellow British Asian, Naseem Hamed, did he get serious about turning professional - a move his parents were dead against.

Soon after retiring, the 50-year-old was given an MBE for his services to boxing and his community.

He then decided to set up a boxing academy in his home city to help young people stay out of crime but also to encourage more people to take up sport.

Jawaid says his own career has provided the perfect blue print to success.

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