69 Clubs From 17 Nations Confirm Participation At Arab Women Sports Tournament
Fourth edition will commence on 2nd Feb with 1,000 athletes competing in 9 sporting disciplines
The Supreme Organising Committee (SOC) of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) organised a press conference today (Wednesday) at Sharjah’s Al Qasba destination to announce the details of its fourth edition scheduled to kick off on February 2, 2018. Among other details they revealed that 1,000 female athletes from 69 clubs in 17 GCC and MENA countries will be competing – the largest participation figure the tournament has witnessed in all its editions.
Participating nations include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine, Libya, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Iraq, and host nation, the UAE.
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) and Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports Foundation (SWSF), under the title “The World is Your Court, Together Victorious”, the 11-day event will run until February 12 at 10 new sports facilities in Sharjah.
ASWT 2018 will hold competitions in 9 sporting disciplines: basketball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting and athletics, show jumping, and karate, which makes a debut this year with three trophies to be claimed at different competitions.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, SOC Chairman of AWST; Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council; HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST’s SOC, Head of its Executive Committee and Director General of SWSF, were among the attendees of the press conference.
Also present were HE Abdul Aziz Taryam, CEO, Advisor and General Manager, Etisalat Northern Emirates to represent the tournament’s exclusive partner this year; HE Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC); SWSF athletes and members of local and international media. The press conference was also presented by UAE’s Archery Champion and an athlete from the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation, Maitha Al Suwaidi.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi extended his profound appreciation to HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, for his vision and directives, and to HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, who has paved the way for women to practice sports and take it up as a career by providing them with a conducive and enabling environment as well as world-class training facilities and expert mentorship.
He said: “Thanks to their relentless support, Sharjah is now home to specialised sports facilities for women that meet the highest international standards. This is reflected in the increasing number of regional and global competition titles female athletes and sportspersons from the UAE, and Sharjah in particular, have been bringing home.”
He continued: “The fourth edition of AWST will be the biggest in the tournament’s history – a strong indicator of the realisation of the emirate’s vision to continually encourage women to excel in sports by organising world-class events that empower them boosting their leadership, confidence and international competence,” he said while addressing the attendees of the press conference.”
Her Excellency Nada Askar Al Naqbi lauded the efforts of AWST committee members, partnering government institutions and participating nations for their continued collaboration, and the media for their sharp coverage and publicity.
She said: “The exponential increase in the scale and outreach of AWST’s fourth edition is testimony to the success of the continued partnerships, careful planning and seamless execution of the previous editions, which has earned us the respect and recognition that we are able to cherish today. We are honoured to be the host country of an event that celebrates women in sports and provides them with a prolific arena within our region to train, compete and exchange expertise and experiences.”
She added: “Our aim this year is to continue to build on the success we have earned in the previous editions and take the vision and aspirations of our wise leadership for making Sharjah’s landscape more fertile for the advancement of women in sports to the next level. I look forward to the tournament and wish all sportswomen good health and spirit to enjoy their participation to the fullest.”
Al Naqbi also highlighted the strict anti-doping tests and measures against performance enhancing drugs that the AWST SOC has put into place in collaboration with the Anti-doping Committee who are testing 40 samples from inside and outside competitions. The SOC has tied up with Spain’s Barcelona laboratory, which is approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the National Anti-doping Committee for carrying out these tests.
The organising committee also unveiled venue details for training sessions and the final competitions.
Saudi Arabia are participating in 5 games, while the UAE is participating with 3 clubs across all 9 games. Bahrain and Algeria will be competing across 8 games, while Jordan with four clubs for four games, while Libya will participate with three clubs each in three disciplines.
Other participating countries include Palestine, which will participate with two clubs in two sports, and Kuwait is participating in five sports. Lebanon, Morocco and Djibouti are participating with one club each in one sport.
AWST is the first women’s sporting event in the Arab world to use green technologies in its operations and services. They use a digitally-integrated and paperless framework, making all its operations environmentally-friendly in line with Sharjah’s eco-friendly initiatives.
Sharjah Media Corporation, with its media arms represented by Sharjah Sports TV, will provide full coverage and live broadcasts of the tournament’s matches. They will also use their social media platforms to keep audiences updated on the date, time, and venue details of all events. The Corporation has set up a fully integrated sports analysis studio for TV broadcasting from key tournament venues.
The opening ceremony will be hosted at 7:00pm on February 2, at the Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharjah.