Her Highness SheikhaJawaherbint Mohamed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, opened the 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament yesterday eveningat the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. The tournament, the only one of its kind, continues until February 12 and has the participation of 18 Arab countries and 58 clubs, competing in eight sports including volleyball, basketball, table tennis, archery, fencing, athletics, shooting and show jumping.The opening ceremony was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and His Royal Highness Prince Talal bin Badr bin Saud bin Abdul Aziz, President of the Arab Sports Council, Head of the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees, and HE Shaikh Isa bin Rashid Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees, and Sheikha Hayat bintAbdulaziz Al Khalifa, Board Member of the Bahrain Olympic Committee Management, Chairperson of the Bahrain Women and Sport Committee and Head of AWST’s Supervisory and follow-up Committee, and HE Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee,Sheikhabodourbint sultan Al Qasimi, chairperson of sharjah investment and development authority (Shurooq), and Rania Elwani, the former Egyptian Olympic Swimmer, and a number of dignitaries.
The opening ceremonybegan with a grand entrance by the participating countries, which are Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, and the host country, the United Arab Emirates.Her Highness SheikhaJawaherBint Mohammed Al Qasimi, welcomed the participating Arab delegations to the Emirate of Sharjah and to the UAE. She expressed her happiness with this great assembly of Arabic women, noting that the Arab Women Sports Tournament had become the premier event in the Arab world which supports women sports and said, "I would like to welcome the participating Arab delegations to Sharjah, wishing them a lively and successful participation in the third session of the Arab Women Sports Tournament. I feel extremely proud of Arab girls and women gathered together on the soil of love, brotherhood and peace; the United Arab Emirates' soil. Let's appreciate the meaning of sportsmanship and compassion during competitions which we aspire to use as a platform to elevate women sports and promote civilized behavior, expressing our culture, to strengthen human ties."Her Highness added, "I would like to thank all the organizers of the Tournament; Olympic, Arabic and Khaleeji committees, unions and bodies. You elevate women’s sports, and your unified efforts bring us to international competitions. My brothers, sisters and daughters; I wish you a pleasant stay in the joyful emirate. In the name of God and with His Grace and Blessing we start the third edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament. "
HE Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee said, “It’s a great honor to host you in your second country, the United Arab Emirates and to see you all here for this celebration of Arab women’s sportsmanship. I would like to thank the committee members of AWST 2016 for their support in making this tournament possible and thanks must also go to our sponsors whose support has helped us to make this tournament a success.”
On behalf of AWST 2016 Organising Committee, Sheikh Khalid honored the late Osman Al Saad, the previous Secretory General of the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees.Sheikha Hayat Bint Abdul Aziz Al Khalifa, thanked Her Highness SheikhaJawaherBint Mohammed Al Qasimi, for her great efforts for launching the Arab Women Sports Tournament.
She also thanked His Royal Highness Prince Talal Al Saud, and thanked Sheikh Issa Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, for their unlimited support of Arabic sports in general and women sports in particular, strengthening the role of women's sports in the Arab world, regionally and internationally.She said: "The adoption of the latest digital techniques in promoting and organizing the Tournament has brought it to the best levels. The success achieved in the previous sessions, and the success continuing to be achieved with the help of God, confirms that the role the national sports federations should be playing in the development of women sports, is to organize the general league competitions for different age groups within its national strategy and programs. This is very important.”At the conclusion of the inauguration ceremony, Her Highness SheikhaJawaherwatched the final round of show jumping held in the morning.