From Formula E to figure skating, Emirati women have been at the forefront of dominating every sport and this time it’s 10-year-old Amenah Al Muhairi, who is the youngest and the only female Ski Dubai sponsored athlete for freestyle snowboarding.
The talented young Emirati recently won the title of 2018 Female Overall Slopestyle & Big Air Champion title in the UAE National Freestyle Snowboarding Championships which was held at Ski Dubai on November 24.
“I was surprised when I won the title, but after all the hard work I had put in my training I think I deserved it,” Amenah said about the competition.
Amenah, who has three siblings, was introduced to skiing at the age of five by her mother, Maya Cvejic, who is a seasoned winter sport enthusiast herself. The 10-year-old ended up showing a greater interest in snowboarding rather than skiing.
“I have been involved in winter sports all my life and have been skiing since a very young age. So, it was only natural for me to pass on my love for the sport to my children. Amenah started skiing at the age of five and then started snowboarding at the age of seven, which she showed a much greater talent for than skiing,” Maya told Sport360°.
As Amenah’s flair for snowboarding really began to shine through, her parents decided to support and encourage her in her ventures. Despite being home to talents like Amenah Al Muhairi, UAE’s desert heat is not conducive for the growth of winter sports, which is one of the biggest challenges according to Maya.
Facilities like Ski Dubai are vital in fostering talents like Amenah, but it is still not the same as training on real snow and Maya tries to solve that issue by travelling to areas with ample snow during her vacations, so she can get the best of both worlds.
“Unfortunately, the sport is not very well-known here and that is partly due to a lack of snow, for obvious reasons. Locations for training are limited. Facilities like Ski Dubai have been absolutely essential in Amenah’s training but we also look for training opportunities outside the country,” said Maya.
Being a title holder at the age of 10 brings a fair share of pressure with it, and Amenah credited her family’s unfaltering guidance and support for keeping her grounded and helping her manage her school and athletic endeavours.
“I have never had issues managing my school with snowboarding. I have a schedule and my mother helps me stick to it. Even my friends understand this and make sure they don’t plan any activities without me. So, I have a good balance of everything in my life,” said Amenah.
Amenah is currently making use of the snow in Jahorina, Bosnia where she will be training for the next three weeks and in January, the 10-year-old snowboarder is heading to the Swiss alps to further hone her slopestyle skills.
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