Blog 2: International Women's Day 2021 - Let's chose to challenge

Amna Al Haddad

5 months ago by Louisa Carlo

​To mark International Women’s Day 2021- I have asked the team to have a think about who inspires them and has helped shape who they have become today. We are uniquely posed to think about this, being a recruitment company with most of us women, which makes the cause extra special for us to celebrate.

I’m surrounded by incredible women in all the work that I do, firstly in Crucial, where the team are predominantly female, but also my business Strong Mutha. It’s a pre & postnatal fitness group, dedicated to giving mothers a place to safely exercise, and socialise. Physical exercise has a huge impact on mental wellbeing, and the name lends itself to the wonderful and resilient mothers that I have the pleasure of teaching. Mothers who are ensuring they look after themselves and their wellbeing, and therefore the wellbeing of their children. Happy mum, happy baby!

There’s a million women I would want to give credit to in this blog; Tanni Grey-Thompson, Billie Jean King, Jo Malone, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo etc, but for the purpose of this article, and as a Personal trainer I wanted to honour a female weightlifter who paved the way for so many in her culture – Amna Al Haddad. She is an inspirational figure, an expert at weightlifting, and women’s sport and an advocate for women’s mental health.

Amna’s story started with a walk and a decision to change her unhealthy lifestyle, went on to joining Crossfit, competing in the Crossfit Games as the first Arab woman to participate and eventually on too winning 6 gold medals and 3 silver in the International weightlifting Federation. In spite of the oppressive nature of the Muslim culture for women, she paved the way through sheer determination and grit by excelling and succeeding at an unconventional sport for women, and was the first woman to compete wearing a hijab.

I believe so strongly that exercise and sport are so beneficial for a million different reasons, and Amna opened that door to weightlifting for a whole culture. She has been instrumental in change and was both the inspiration behind, and consulted regarding the needs of Muslim female athletes in the creation of the revolutionary Nike Pro Hijab.

Happy International Women’s Day!


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Crucial, Bishopstone, 36 Crescent Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 1RL

Tel.: 01273 060 025

Tel.: 01273 060 025