7 Inspirational BAME Women in Sport
As we reach the end of another Black History Month – which has happened during arguably one of the most challenging and thought-provoking years with regards to standing up to racism and inequality – Buump Active wanted to take a look at some of the BAME sportswomen who have made their mark in history and inspired us all.
Women have always had to fight harder to be recognised in the sports arena – an area where – typically – men are the bigger stars or the bigger earners. And historically, many black or Asian women have had to fight even more ferociously to smash boundaries and stand up, in many cases, against the injustice of racial inequality, both on and off the field, track, ring or court.
Here are seven incredible BAME women who continue to inspire us with their relentlessly awesome approach to life and to sport…
No list of this kind would be complete without Serena, who is a fierce contender for the greatest athlete of our generation. Unapologetically strong, powerful and absolutely kick-ass, Serena has dominated women’s tennis since her debut in 1995. Having won a record 23 (TWENTY THREE!) Grand Slam tournaments – more than any other woman or man in the Open era – Serena is known for revolutionising women’s tennis with her powerful style of play.
It’s just insane to think that, while two months pregnant in 2017, Serena won the Australian Open. We will be forever in awe of this incredible woman!
A friend of Buump Active, and Manchester born and bred, Abigail is a true example of a strong, amazingly inspirational black woman in sport. British champion long jumper, Irozuru retired in 2016, and then made an incredible comeback, beating her personal best in 2019 at the UK Championship World Trials, and getting to the final in Doha. Endlessly motivational and upbeat, Abigail attributes her success to her faith in God. She’s always an inspiration to us!
Nicola Adams OBE is Britain’s most successful female boxer of all time. Endlessly smiley and positive, Nicola flies the flag proudly for women in boxing, black women in sport – and LGBTQ women too! Nicola is also the only female athlete in the history of boxing to have won every major title available; Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth. Currently, Nicola is making history as half of the first ever same-sex pairing on Strictly, and we just adore her relentless approach to smashing boundaries.
Allyson Felix is the most decorated woman in US track and field history, with an incredible NINE Olympic medals. Describing herself as an athlete, mother and activist, Felix hit the headlines when she secured a record-breaking 12th World Championship gold medal – surpassing Usain Bolt – just ten months and one day after giving birth to her premature baby girl. Allyson continues to strive for greatness in all areas of her life, and is now a successful business woman and investor, as well as one of the greatest athletes ever.
Unbelievably, Great Britain has never sent a black female swimmer to the Olympic Games. Luckily, Alice Dearing is going to change that next year at Tokyo. At just 23, Dearing is Britain’s best open water swimmer – and she is planning to make history (Covid permitting) after 125 years in the 2021 tournament. As well as being an incredible athlete, Dearing is also the chief ambassador for the Black Swimming Association – a group that encourages and teaches black people to swim, and has also partnered with Soul Cap, a brand that makes swimming caps for swimmers with Afro hair. We will be cheering her on next year, that’s for sure!
Mellah made history when she became the first ever jockey to wear a Hijab in a competitive British horse race. As well as smashing boundaries in this way, this amazing woman also won the Magnolia Cup in 2019, despite being the youngest and least experienced rider in the race. She went on to win the The Times Young Sportswoman of the Year a few months later. Despite now studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Khadijah is absolutely one to watch in her field. What a woman!
Liverpool-born Johnson-Thompson is a true megastar of British athletics. One of the greatest heptathletes in British history, she has won gold medals at World Championships for the Heptathlon, holds the British record for the women’s pentathlon, and holds the British record for the high jump. At just 27, we predict much more greatness from this incredible young woman.