HIJAB and move – that’s the plan for boxer Safiyyah Syeed now that gyms are due to re-open.

And Syeed, the first woman fighter to be allowed into the ring wearing a hijab, can’t wait to continue her quest for Olympic gold.

Syeed, who turned 20 last week, said: “I’m so excited to get back into the gym after all these weeks and get match-fit again. I’ve been training throughout lockdown and have two home gyms and have been pushing myself, but it’s not the same.

“I know it’s too early for me for the Tokyo Olympics even though they have been postponed until next year, but I’ve got the Paris Games, which hopefully will still be held in 2024, in my sights.”

After breaking down one of boxing’s biggest barriers, Syeed is aiming to put herself in the history books again by grabbing a place in Team GB’s Olympic squad.

The Muslim super flyweight said: “The Olympics is my goal – and it’s definitely achievable. Paris may seem a long way off, but that’s what I’m working towards.”

It’s certainly a big ask for Syeed, who has had just the one bout so far, but it was a winning start as she stopped her opponent in the second round.

Syeed, who trains at the Bradford easyGym in her home city, is now looking for her next opponent, but she doesn’t really care who they put in front of her.

She said: “I’ve just got to get focused all over again and tune up my fitness levels so that I’ll be ready whenever my next fight happens.

“Before lockdown, I was doing a lot of training on my own and also using easyGym’s PACK45 workout, which got me involved with other gym users. It’s amazing and I love it. It really puts the fun back into fitness.

“You work out with other people, which is great – and we all motivate each other. It’s perfect.”

Syeed will also be going back to her own strict training regime at easyGym, with three sessions a week after her morning run.

She said: “I’ll be getting back on the treadmill and weights as part of my strength and conditioning routine.”

In addition to her work at easyGym, Luton-born Syeed is hoping to make regular trips to Manchester to train as she steps up her conditioning in readiness for her next contest.

She said: “Before Covid-19, I was regularly sparring men in the gym. They weren’t too happy at first, but eventually they saw me as an equal in the ring. I’m convinced I could beat a guy, so I’m not worried who I fight next.

“I’ve bulked up a bit during the lockdown so will be probably be moving up in weight from super-fly when I return to the sport.”

But Syeed is under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be, saying: “I still think it’s hard for us girls in this sport, recognition and equality wise.

“I’m done waiting for the opportunities and people to recognise me. I’m going to go and get them and continue to work hard. The real work happens when nobody’s watching.”

Syeed turned to boxing after her weight plummeted to just four stone when she was suffering from an unidentified illness that stemmed from anorexia and bulimia.

She said: “All I was eating was a banana a day and I was starting to have issues with my kidneys.

“I was in bed most of the time, but I decided that two years of being ill was enough.

“I wrote a list of things that I wanted to do with my life. like start a YouTube channel and go sky diving.

“Boxing was on the list as well and as soon as I felt strong enough, I started doing it.

“I’ve really fallen in love with the sport. I was bit worried at first about being a hijabi girl going into a boxing gym. It’s not what people are used to.

“But everyone has been so nice and supportive. No one minds that I wear a hijab in the ring.

“It doesn’t affect my boxing at all, some people think it might make it hard to move but I forget I’m even wearing it.”

Syeed will also be running boxing classes every Sunday, starting this week, from the Rock Solid Gym on Richmond Road in Bradford.

There will be a women’s class from 12pm-1pm, a children’s class from 1pm-2pm and a mixed class from 2pm-3pm.

One to one personal training is also available, while prices start from £5 per session.