18 Jan Bianca Elmir: Australia’s incredible female boxer and mentor who’s just ‘winging it’
Featured photo credit: Paul Oliver
I always knew that I was going to do something remarkable… I knew I was never going to be ordinary.
A far cry from an ordinary woman, Bianca Elmir continues to knockdown the stereotypes that are often thrown her way.
Bianca’s extensive list of boxing achievements has been growing since the day she picked up her gloves in 2009, including being awarded the Australian Flyweight Champion in 2010 and 2011.
As proud Muslim woman of Lebanese heritage, Bianca went against some of her more religious family members’ beliefs that boxing encourages violence, and she hopes in doing so she inspires others to continue doing what they love.
“I think just by exposure, it’s allowing other people to see that it’s ok to do it [boxing],” she explains.
“You’re not less of a person and you’re not conflicting with your family or culture if you want to box, but unless people actually see that first hand, then they don’t have the confidence to go out and do it themselves.
“Because I have been so publicly Muslim, it has become something that a lot of people are able to connect with.
I’m just winging it and I really hope that I am making the right decision sometimes.
Leveraging off her prominence in the sporting world, Bianca also works in mentoring young boys for a life skills program, as well as setting up her own mentoring program that uses boxing as a platform to help women build their dreams and self-esteem.
Bianca has also teamed up with the Australian High Commission to teach boxing to girls in Papua New Guinea (PNG) who cannot access classes or coaches, an initiative that will see her flying over to the Melanesian nation again in 2019.
“But, since I’m still boxing, it’s so hard to do everything,” Bianca said.
“These programs have to be something that I focus on when I finish my professional boxing career, so one of my goals would be to just run this female mentoring program.”
Photo credit: Paul Oliver
Despite boxing being her top priority at the moment, Bianca does hope she is able to retire from the sport soon, as it often leaves her feeling as though she is missing out on some experiences.
“Sometimes I just want to step back, but I’m not afforded that opportunity because I’ve set my life up where I can’t do that, I’m always on the go, my foot’s on the pedal constantly, and I have so much on my plate all the time,” she explained.
I sometimes think that maybe I should just put my energy into being normal and not have so much on my plate and not have to extend myself so much, because it seems so secure and safe.
These conflicting emotions are explored in Jemma van Loenen’s award-winning documentary Bam Bam, a movie filmed over two years that follows Bianca’s ongoing quest to become world bantamweight amateur boxing champion.
Check out the trailer below!