Team Queen on giving back to the community with their inclusive Kickboxing

Team Queen is a community club that offers a no hate space for all women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centres our experiences. Through years of training and teaching at Nam Yang Brighton, Christina from Team Queen has learned the importance of community clubs and offering a supportive space for students. Christina continues to practice that for Team Queen members. 

Offering the opportunity to learn and compete in the art of kickboxing in a non-intimidating environment, we caught up with Christina Jo on creating Team Queen.

“I wanted Team Queen to offer a space not only for training but a space where you can become part of a community and make new friends. Our team has recently participated in their first fights at Nam Yang Brighton Interclubs. We are now training up our first assistant coach, who has been training with us since the start of Team Queen and we currently have a volunteer team who are going to be helping with fundraising and outreach work, so we can reach further within the community. So, whether or not you want to compete or socialise and train- Team Queen is the place for you!”

The beginning

Martial Arts has always been close to my heart, I started Wado Ryu Karate at the age of 6 and since then I have always had an interest and passion for anything Martial Arts related. 

Why is Team Queen important?

I’ve attended intimidating gyms in the past, where toxic masculinity had taken over the entire space, and although not all gyms are like that, sometimes it’s hard to find a space where as a woman you can feel completely at ease.  After years of training I realised the importance of having a space that centres the experience of women and the queer community, especially in a martial arts based environment which is why I realised that Team Queen was a space that was needed. 

When did Team Queen start?

I started up Team Queen in 2020, after losing my job at the beginning of lockdown. I really disliked my job before Team Queen and I would constantly be thinking about starting up my own business whilst doodling potential logos at my desk. Due to working full-time and teaching/training in the evenings, I never had the time to reflect on Team Queen, but once I had lost my job I had all the time in the world to get started.

Giving back to the community

Lastly, and most importantly, the purpose of being a community club is to ensure you give back to the community. We have previously raised money for our local charities RISE and the Anti-Harassment Club, and we look forward to doing many more fundraising events in the future. We are currently doing a fundraiser for trans visibility day, raising money for LGBTQ+ rights for the Ghana community support fund.

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