The Emirate of Sharjah is all set to host the fifth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) between Feb 2–12. This Olympic-themed mega sporting event is organised by the Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS).
This competition has recorded the largest participation ever from the gulf region in the history of the event, with UAE topping the list with 15 participating clubs, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with 12.
There are eight clubs participating from Bahrain, six from Kuwait, and three from Oman and two from Qatar, which rounds off the Gulf Region participation in the tournament.
Other participating countries include Algeria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Palestine.
All in all, there are 78 clubs from 18 countries who will be participating in nine game categories, which includes shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.
Emirati athletes will be testing their might and competing in all nine sports and the tournament’s Supreme Organizing Committee (SOC) has also announced the attendance of several high-ranking sports officials and notable Arab athletes.
Nada Askar, deputy head of the SOC of AWST and Director General of Sharjah Women’s Sports, has great confidence in all the Emirati athletes and is sure that they will put their best foot forward.
She said, “Our athletes have been undergoing extensive, varied and specialised training in preparations towards putting their best foot forward in AWST 2020. Their complete focus now is on the tournament, and these training sessions have boosted their technical capabilities, elevated their fitness levels, and renewed their confidence to lock horns with the best sportswomen in the Arab region.”
According to Nada Askar, competitions like the AWST encourages the participation of women as players, leaders and coaches, and provides appropriate state-of-the-art training facilities to ensure that female athletes get the recognition they deserve.
The tournament is a massive stepping stone for female athletes in the Arab region and is reflective of the changes in attitudes and society at large.
“Less than a generation ago, the idea of women competing in sports would have been unthinkable. Cultural shifts have facilitated changes and our sportswomen are now disrupting traditional gender boundaries,” said Nada Askar.
Sharjah Women’s Sports has contributed tremendously in the rise of women in sports through their initiatives like AWST and is propelling the community towards gender inclusivity.
The tournament’s opening ceremony will be held on February 2 at Sharjah Sports Club.