Kuwaiti professional BMX rider Mansour Al Safran is one of his country’s most talented and popular sportsman.
The 26-year-old, who took to the two wheels of the BMX bike at the age of 14, immediately developed a strong passion for the freestyle sport, which sees riders scale incredible heights at speed, make airborne twists and turns and gravity-defying tricks.
While the lack of facilities for extreme sports in general hindered Al Safran’s initial progress as a rider in Kuwait, it’s now a different story as Al Safran knows first-hand.
The Skate Park Adventure in Abu Dhabi, Skate Park in Lebanon and Trampo in Kuwait, among others, have given riders and adrenaline junkies new places to ply their trade throughout the Gulf.
“Growing up finding places to train was difficult but times have changed now and the support for extreme sports in the region is now stronger than ever,” Al Safran, who now helps to grow his profession and judge competitions, said.
“For example, before there was no skate park here in Abu Dhabi and in the rest of the GCC and you had to ride outside – learning new tricks on the streets wasn’t safe.”
Al Safran’s development as an athlete led to full-time sponsorship with Red Bull – a brand he has now been affiliated with since 2014. A man of many talents, he is also a long-term member of the Kuwaiti Kayak national team.
He said: “I feel so happy to be a Red Bull athlete and ride BMX. All athletes have a dream and you can get it, this year or even after five years, you just have to keep going.”
To date, arguably Al Safran’s finest feat came back in 2013 in Malaysia, where he won the Asian freestyle tournament by winning the bronze medal.
Watch the video above (courtesy of Abu Dhabi Sports Council) to learn more about the rider.
Jordanian Shadia Bseiso is the first Arab woman to be signed by WWE and she’s hoping to leave her mark on the sport entertainment industry.
A trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete and CrossFit enthusiast, Bseiso signed a developmental contract, becoming the first Arab woman from the Middle East to have the opportunity to train to become a WWE superstar.
She had attended WWE’s invitation-only talent tryout in Dubai earlier this year, where the talent pool included 40 men and women from the Middle East and India with diverse backgrounds in sports and athletics, including powerlifters, rugby and football players, amateur wrestlers, martial artists and fitness experts.
Bseiso’s athletic abilities, confidence, and natural charisma earned her the opportunity to begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida this January.
“My goal is to become WWE women’s champion, get on the main roster and create a big impact,” Bseiso told Sport360.
“I’d love to perform at WrestleMania – just imagine being a girl from the Middle East, loves to train jiu-jitsu, being a TV presenter, one day being able to perform at WrestleMania, this would be amazing, an incredible opportunity.
“But also at the same time I’d love to leave a mark in sports entertainment and specifically in the region just to show girls that everything is possible.”
Watch the video above to get to know more about Bseiso.
Egyptian duo Omar Nour and Omar Samra have amped up their preparations with less than two months to go before they sail off from La Gomera, Spain and row across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua.
Nour, a professional triathlete, and Samra, and adventurer and mountaineer, decided to take on this Atlantic row challenge last April, with neither one of them having any previous rowing experience.
The pair have since gone through multiple challenges as part of their training, including a 100-hour row off the coast of Essex in the UK, where they faced extreme conditions and were pushed to their physical and mental limits.
Nour, a Dubai resident, sat down with Sport360 to share the highs and lows from that trip, and give us a taste of what it’s like facing the elements in the middle of the sea on a small rowing boat.
From technological failures, to brutal weather, to sea sickness and health issues, Samra and Nour faced it all out at sea.
Watch the video above to get all the details from Nour.