Pride Month: Shining a Spotlight on the LGBTQIA+ Community

June 30, 2024 | by Nabillah Akhtar


This pride month, England Boxing want to highlight a few of our clubs that are doing amazing work in increasing trans participation in boxing. It is well documented that members of the LGBTQIA+ community do not take part in sport and physical exercise as much as other members of society, and this is particularly prevalent amongst the trans community.

A member noted that ‘I felt there wasn’t a space for me to go to’ and that having these spaces to come to is ‘so important’. The work that these clubs and sessions are doing is having a really positive impact on its members, who want to get fit and get into boxing in a safe and welcoming environment.

International regulations currently state that trans people are not able to compete, however there is ongoing work in this sphere at England Boxing to try and look at this differently. In the meantime, there are many projects and collaborations with our clubs and external organisations to try and create more opportunities for trans people to participate in the sport.

Knockout LGBTQ became the first club specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community to be affiliated with England Boxing in 2023, and is an inclusive non-profit boxing club for LGBTQIA+ folks. It opened in 2016 and is a space for all genders, sexualities and abilities to explore boxing, and they have successfully been running their inclusive sessions since then.

Not a Phases’ programme Misfits is a fitness, wellbeing and self defence programme. It focusses on confidence building whilst breaking down the barriers between the Trans+ community and traditional gym spaces.

Through Not a Phase’s programme Misfits, Knockout LGBTQ were able to provide an additional session in May specifically for trans people who want to get active and give boxing a try. The session was extremely well received, with all participants giving it their all from start to finish. The coaches provided really clear instructions for a great introduction to the sport and introduced some of the foundational movements and skills. It’s not a boxing session without a circuit either! Many of the participants from Misfits expressed interest in going along to Knockout LGBTQ’s regular sessions afterwards too.

The great work Misfits and Knockout LGBTQ are doing is being replicated in a few other places around the country, trying to engage more trans people into the sport. In Leeds, England Boxing apprentice JP has been running weekly sessions for the community, which have been a great space for people to comfortably try boxing for the first time, and in some cases, return to the sport in a safe and welcoming environment, with one participant saying, ‘I found it a really useful place to be able to be myself and also exercise, which is something quite hard to do as a trans person’.

Over in Todmorden, Northern Powerhouse has been successfully running a free session for trans boxers for the last couple of years now, with participants from all over the county (and even further afield) attending the session week in week out. The distances some participants travel emphasises the demand for more of these types of sessions, and for more clubs to create a welcoming space for people from all walks of life to feel comfortable and confident in attending boxing sessions. This shows that ‘there is a real need and want for more accessible training in boxing and other sports’.

England Boxing would like to wish everyone a happy Pride, as well as a huge thank you and congratulations to the clubs and members who are putting so much effort into supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, through the sport of boxing.

If your club would like to explore running sessions for the LGBTQIA+ community, please get in touch with to discuss training opportunities in this area, and how to expand your clubs existing offers.

For more information about the origins of Pride Month and why we celebrate it, please click below: