A few days ahead of the fifth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), one of the most ardent champions of women’s sports in the region, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS), has met the players of Sharjah Women’s Sports Club (SWSC), carried out detailed inspections of the tournament’s facilities and equipment, and has been debriefed on competition-wise preparations.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi has emphasised that Arab sportswomen have made qualitative strides in elevating their professional status globally, and have successfully turned around age-old preconceptions and stereotypes that determined women’s role in their communities – establishing themselves as equal stakeholders in the development of economy and society.
The SWS Chairperson noted that AWST embodies Sharjah’s vision for comprehensive and inclusive development, and reflects the emirate’s emphasis on empowering women across both traditional and non-traditional sectors like sports, arts and other creative fields in the UAE and the Arab world.
The tournament is organised by Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS) and the 2020 edition will be held from February 2-12.
During the visit, Her Highness met the sportswomen who will be representing the UAE at AWST 2020, and received a rundown on the training they are undergoing in preparation to compete at the tournament.
Sheikha Jawaher offered a boost of encouragement to these athletes, saying, all of them walked two distinct journeys to be ready for professional sports and for AWST 2020. “The journey represents the spirit, culture and history of our nation – your progress mirrors Sharjah’s and the UAE’s values and your success is proof and endorsement of the individuals and institutions in the UAE who have collaborated seamlessly for your professional advancement.”
“You have also been on personal journeys that come with being a woman who wants to excel in sports. You strived, persevered, and overcame numerous challenges – and here you are. Today, you are all role models who have successfully changed the traditional narratives of duty and achievement attributed to women. You will all leave a lasting imprint in the history of our nation, our region and the world,” Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi added.
Her Highness continued: “Your determination, team spirit and singular focus on taking your athletic performance and professionalism to the next level are a win regardless of what you score in AWST. Winning is meaningful only when viewed in the bigger picture, which is not only inclusive of the scores but values that make the foundations of good sports.”
Sheikha Jawaher encouraged the athletes to put their best foot forward and exhibit the sporting spirit instilled in them by the UAE to their counterparts from other nations. Her Highness advised the players to not let the competitions’ outcomes affect their relationships with their opponents, and use the tournament as a platform to promote Sharjah’s and the UAE’s cherished values of friendship to the world.
“I am here to root for you and provide the support you need to bring victories to yourself, to Sharjah and your beloved nation,” the SWS Chairperson continued, saying she will be following their performance live on TV and social media. “I urge you to be responsible, and continue your journey of development at the SWS facilities, which will continue to play a fundamental role in developing your sporting skills and physical strength,” Her Highness further noted.
Sheikha Jawaher concluded her talk by thanking His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for continuously supporting the emirate’s comprehensive and inclusive journey of development by providing all that is required to advance women in sports, both locally and internationally. Her Highness also thanked SWS staff for their passion to achieve AWST’s goals and for offering world-class services to target segments of society.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi took feedback from the sportswomen on AWST’s preparations for the 11-day event on how they thought the level of the tournament can be advanced and its facilities updated, listened to participating athletes’ views on the training sessions ahead of AWST – including internal and external camps organised by SWS and sessions that enable the sportswomen to exchange expertise and experiences – can enhance their performance levels and prospects of winning.
Her Highness concluded her inspection visit with a tour of the sporting venues and new facilities at SWS, including five sports halls and eight fully-equipped multipurpose facilities. She also took a tour of the AWST 2020 competition venues and took updates from the tournament’s officials on the final leg of preparations.