Girls boxing documentary wins coveted prize at Sportel

The documentary ‘Boxgirls’ has been awarded the Peace and Sport Documentary Prize at this year’s Sportel Awards. The short film gives a unique insight into the Kariobangi neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya were girls and women who face poverty, crime, drugs and rape use boxing to overcome their situation.

Marc Raquil, athletics world champion and Champion for Peace, presented the Peace and Sport Documentary Prize during the Sportel Awards ceremony on Tuesday 22nd October. In this 20-minute documentary by Jaime Murciego Tagarro, female boxers try to overcome their situation through physical and mostly mental skills that boxing gives to them.

Two other films were competing for the Prize. ‘Afghan Cycles’ by Sarah Menzies follows a new generation of young Afghan women cyclists. The film tells the story of women’s rights and the struggles faced by Afghan women on a daily basis, from discrimination and abuse, to the oppressive silencing of their voices in all aspects of contemporary society. ‘Streetkids United 3 – The road to Moscow’ by Jacco Groen and Jamillah van der Hulst is the empowering story of nine Indian girls who are chosen by Karunalaya Social Service Society to represent their country at the Street Child World Cup 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

“Sport is a universal language and films have the capacity to reveal emotions, tensions and values that sport can spread,” said Marc Raquil, athletics world champion and Champion for Peace. “We received very inspiring applications and it was a great pleasure to watch these magnificent documentaries which demonstrate that sport is a sustainable tool to address social issues.”

Last year, the winner was Jamillah Van der Hulsts’s film ‘Fighting for life’. The documentary gives a unique look inside South-African prison Drakenstein Correctional Centre and the impressive work of Dutch boxing coach Sharita van der Hulst in the rehabilitation program for prisoners that are serving heavy sentences. In 2017, ‘Girl unbound: the war to be her’ was awarded. This film explores the world of Maria Toorpakai Wazir, international champion of squash and Champion for Peace. In Waziristan, a mountainous region of Pakistan, Maria defies the Taliban by disguising herself as a boy so she can play sports freely.

Since 2014, in partnership with the Sportel Awards, Peace and Sport has rewarded directors who are tackling themes to demonstrate that sport can actually move barriers and norms in society.


Picture: Jaime Murciego Tagarro with Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport.