Sheikha Jawaher attends opening ceremony of 5th AWST - GulfToday

Sheikha Jawaher attends opening ceremony of 5th AWST

Sheikha Jawaher attends  opening ceremony of 5th AWST

Hussain Al Jassmi performs during the inauguration ceremony of AWST 2020 at the Sharjah Sports Club on Sunday.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS), witnessed the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) on Sunday.

A record number of 78 clubs from 18 Arab countries have participated in AWST 2020. The tournament is organised by SWS and runs until Feb.12 across various sporting venues in Sharjah.

Media sports personality, Mustafa Al Agha, was the official host of the opening ceremony, which took place at the Sharjah Sports Club.

The inaugural proceedings began with the UAE National Anthem, followed by the official flag raising ceremony of participating countries and the official athletes and referees pledge.

The ceremony also entertained audience and attendees with an attractive light shows and performances that highlighted the various offerings of AWST 2020 to the audience.

This was followed by AWST 2020 anthem ‘Arab Women’, performed by Extraordinaire Goodwill Ambassador and well-known Emirati singer, Hussain Al Jassmi. The anthem is an ode to the growing status of Arab women’s sports, and lauds Sharjah’s role as an incubator for female athletes.

Welcoming all participating Arab nations to Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi highlighted the regional importance of the tournament, and the key role it plays in supporting sportswomen’s dreams and ambitions.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi thanked His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for continuously supporting women through directives to provide all that is necessary to empower them in all fields.

Wishing all participants the best for AWST 2020, Her Highness noted: “Through your determination and intensive efforts, you and your peers in the Arab world have achieved many feats that make us proud.

“Arab sportswomen are successfully changing the realities of the region by following their dreams with resolve; rewriting traditional narratives of duty and achievement attributed to Arab women.

“This tournament furthers Sharjah’s commitment to making sports more inclusive and accessible to women, a pillar of the region’s development journey and a bridge between cultures.”  

Competitions AWST 2020 has recorded the largest-ever GCC participation in the tournament’s history. The UAE tops this list with 15 clubs who will be competing across AWST’s nine sporting categories:  shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, fencing, archery and karate.

The next biggest participation is by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with 12 clubs who are represented in all sports except shooting. A total of eight clubs from Bahrain will partake in all games excluding show jumping.

Six Kuwaiti clubs are participating in shooting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics and karate, while three clubs from Oman will compete in shooting and athletics. Sportswomen from six Jordanian clubs will be aiming for top spots in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, athletics, show jumping, and karate.

Seven Algerian clubs will be represented in volleyball, table tennis, archery, karate, shooting and basketball categories, while Libya will participate in table tennis, athletics, and karate. Four clubs from Egypt will compete in shooting, basketball, table tennis, fencing and karate.

Three Syrian clubs will take part in volleyball, basketball and karate, while Sudanese athletes will compete in athletics, show jumping and archery. Palestinian sportswomen will test their might in athletics and karate. Iraq and Morocco too will participate in only one sport each, archery and table tennis, respectively. Lebanese and Union of the Comoros sportswomen will compete in showjumping.

On Monday, sportswomen will compete in basketball, volleyball, karate, archery, and show jumping, followed by table tennis matches on Tuesday. Athletic competitions are scheduled for Feb.8, followed by fencing on Feb.9.

On the side-lines of AWST, a session titled ‘Future of Women Sports in Arab Media’ on Tuesday, targeting Arab sports media professionals and influencers will be held. The session is aimed at highlighting opportunities and challenges in women’s sports, and present suggestions to the media industry and decision-makers to augment their role in advancing women’s sports.

The Supreme Organising Committee (SOC) of AWST 2020 announced the inclusion of two new trophies: ‘Best Cheerleader Cup’ and ‘Best Audience Cup’, to complement the tournament’s Supremacy Cup, Excellence Cup and Fair Play Cup. In addition, AWST will honour the best committee operating under the executive committee of the tournament, as well as the best local sports union under the criteria of cooperation and involvement, and the best Arab sports union.

Related articles