Ruqsana Begum - Kickboxing Champion

Anyone who believes that women can't, or shouldn't, fight needs to meet Ruqsana Begum. Born and raised in East London, the second of five children, the young Muay Thai kickboxer won her first World

Title against Swedish champion Susanna Salijarvi and became the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) 48kg champion.

Add that accolade to the string of British titles, and European championship gold medals Ruqsana has already won in one of the toughest sports on the planet, and you begin to get a picture of the

determination, dedication and courage this youngwoman shows every day in life.

Ruqsana’s road to glory in one of the hardest sports around has not been easy. Coming from a strict Bengali Muslim tradition, the thought that a young woman would choose to compete in the kickboxing ring would not sit well with some in her community. But Ruqsana has fought hard to explode negative perceptions of women and young British Muslims in sport, and remains a shining example to young British people the length and breadth of the nation, regardless of race, colour or creed.