Vancouver: Growing up in Iran, Vancouver resident Farinaz Lari, and Canada’s kickboxing champion, an instructor who co-founded her own gym and an ambassador for Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s (AKFC) World Partnership Walk on May 28, was initially discouraged from trying the sport.
She recalls her father trying to talk her into signing up for more “appropriate” activities like tennis, volleyball and gymnastics.
Both physically motivated and keen to impress, Lari tried other sports including snowboarding and Muay Thai, a martial arts sport that originated in Thailand.
Now recognized as the world’s first Iranian kickboxing champion, Lari says she never looked back after that martial arts introduction. “I started kickboxing when I turned 18 and earned my own money…my parents didn’t allow it…because it was beneath a girl to fight…but after 17 sessions I found myself fighting in the national championships…It has made me into a person who believes that anything is possible,” says Lari who today holds the title of Canadian Female Flyweight Title for Muay Thai Canada and the distinct of being the first person to become Iranian World Kickboxing Champion.
This is also why Lari is passionate about AKFC and its connection to women’s empowerment and equality. Through the Walk, AKFC funds programs to provide high quality education to girls, teach literacy skills to women and provide access to higher forms of education so women can develop skills and knowledge to earn a decent 2 livelihood. Growing up in Iran, Lari said she could relate to the struggles of women so
when asked to make a difference for women around the world, she felt privileged. She is eager to share her passion for her sport with those participating in the Walk. Leading up to the event, she will be fundraising and on the day of the Walk, she will be holding a warm-up session for those taking part. Lari says it will be an easy workout and just “something to warm up the joints.”
“I was honored and so humbled to be approached (by the AKFC).”
The World Partnership Walk takes place in 10 cities across Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener, Waterloo, London, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. An initiative of AKFC, the Walk is a national campaign that requires the talent and dedication of thousands of volunteers and sponsors.
For Canada’s 150th anniversary we invite Vancouverites to celebrate the longstanding tradition of Canadians’ generosity by stepping forward to join the 2017 World Partnership Walk. Sign up online as individual fundraisers or as a team with your friends, family or colleagues to make an even bigger difference in the world – and celebrate all the ways that make us Canadian.
Vancouver to find out more and register today!
When: 10am Sunday May 28, 2017
Where: Lumbermen’s Arch, Stanley Park
What: World Partnership Walk, Vancouver
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is an international development organization, working in Africa and Asia to find sustainable solutions to the complex problems of global poverty. Our programs seek to improve living conditions for people regardless of their
faith or origin; and to create opportunities for both women and men. Established in 1980, AKFC is a registered Canadian charity and an agency of the worldwide Aga Khan Development Network.
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