Nino Severino: Ipswich’s link to historic Vogue ‘Forces of Change’ front cover

Ramla Ali working with bio-mechanical markers at The Hub in Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ramla Ali working with bio-mechanical markers at The Hub in Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

In his latest column, Nino Severino shares Ipswich’s link to British Vogue’s historic ‘Forces for Change’ front cover, which hits stores on Friday.

(L-R) Ramla Ali's fitness coach Liam Minstry, Nino Severino, Ramla and her husband and coach Richard

(L-R) Ramla Ali's fitness coach Liam Minstry, Nino Severino, Ramla and her husband and coach Richard Moore. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

As the Director of The Hub it's my responsibility to ensure we connect with and support as many athletes across England as we can - our current portfolio stretches all the way from Liverpool down to London.

One athlete who we have built an incredible relationship with, and who is actually now one of our official Hub ambassadors is a very special woman called Ramla Ali.

So all at The Hub were so very proud to see her play a part in a global story this week, involving the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, who served as Guest Editor for British Vogue and their front page "Forces for Change" which will be available on Friday.

Ramla is an exceptional young woman and a world class athlete, a global Nike ambassador who is attracting world wide attention. She is also involved in major projects with major companies such as Beats by Dre headphones, involving other superstars like Serena Williams.

But it's this Vogue front page which has created a global story, and its incredible to see one of The Hub's ambassadors at the centre of this.

Ramla is on a mission to become the first boxer ever to represent Somalia at an Olympics, but it's not just personal aspirations that make this incredible athlete stand out.

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She also leads a wonderful project in London called Sisters Club, free weekly women's boxing sessions, encouraging ladies from all backgrounds to get fit, socialise and integrate through her wonderful spot of boxing.

Ramla is one of 15 women who have been picked by Vogue as individuals who break barriers, and she called this "an absolute honour", as it is for us to be associated with such a great athlete, and person.

The other 14 women who feature are:-

- Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's Prime Minister;

- Adwoa Aboah, a model and a mental health campaigner;

- Adut Akech, a South Sudanese model who is the child of a refugee who emigrated to Australia;

- Sinead Burke, an Irish woman who is a leading academic and disability activist;

- Gemma Chan, an Oxford law graduate who earned herself global celebrity status in the box office hit, Crazy Rich Asians, and was involved in the very powerful Time's Up campaign, a movement to fight against sexual harassment in the film industry;

- Laverne Cox, a transgender advocate, who starred in the Netflix hit show Orange Is The New Black, and broke barriers by becoming the first ever transgender person to be nominated for a prestigious Emmy award back in 2014;

- Jane Fonda, a legendary actress who is also a prolific writer and political activist;

- Salma Hayek Pinault, a Hollywood film star who has committed her life to diminishing violence against women and the discrimination they face as immigrants;

- Jameela Jamil, a TV presenter committed to ensuring that women work hard for body positivity through her "I Weigh" campaign;

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an award-winning Nigerian novelist;

- Francesca Hayward, a Kenyan-born British ballerina who earned her place in the cast of the new Cats film;

- Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who led youngsters around the world in protests against climate change;

- Yara Shahidi, a model, activist and founder of the Eighteen x 18, aimed at helping young people of her generation to become more engaged with politics;

- Christy Turlington Burns, a model who founded "Every Mother Counts" a foundation focused on making child birth safer.

As I type the list of these incredible women of strength, resilience, power and talent, it really is very hard for me to express the enormous pride I feel that we are so closely connected with Ramla Ali.

I talk about Ipswich shouting loud and proud about its sporting achievements, and I feel no embarrassment or awkwardness to proudly write about this great athlete, who is very quickly becoming a global sensation, and has chosen the Hub, based in our region, to support her sport science needs.

Ramla will be visiting The Hub very soon, in preparation for the World Championships in Russian, and I look forward to sharing news of that trip with you.

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