The opening ceremony of the fourth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST 2018), organised by Sharjah Women Sports Foundation (SWSF) and taking place February 2-12, will host a number of elite Arab officials and sports personalities. The participation of the special guests is in alignment with SWSF’s strategy to promote Sharjah’s expertise in the sporting arena and to encourage women in the UAE to participate in physical activity.Taking place under the slogan ‘The World Is Your Court… Be a Winner,’ AWST 2018’s special guests include Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, President of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports, and Her Royal Highness Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud Al Saud, Director General of the same organisation.Also attending are His Excellency Khalid Abdulaziz, Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports and Head of the Executive Office of the Arab Ministers of Youth and Sports Council; Engineer Sherif Al Aryan, Secretary General of Egyptian Olympics Committee and Nour El Sherbini, Egyptian world squash champion.Commenting on the guests’ attendance at the AWST 2018 opening ceremony on Friday, February 2, HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Chairperson of AWST Supreme Organising Committee (SOC), Head of AWST Executive Committee and Director General of SWSF, said: “Hosting these key personalities reflects the importance of this tournament and underscores its worthy message, which calls on everyone to make greater efforts to support and empower women through the largest-of-its-kind sports platform in the Arab world.”
“Through organising this tournament, we seek to further enhance its stature as a global women's sporting event as part of our commitment to elevating the role of women in sports. We invited these honourable personalities because they work towards the same goals as we do, which is to support women sports in the Arab world and provide female athletes with the best opportunities to develop and showcase their talents and skills in the sporting arena,” she added.Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, winner of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award 2017, represents Saudi women whose extraordinary capabilities have led them to hold leadership posts. One of the key Saudi advocates of empowering women economically, Princess Reema founded ‘Alf Khair’ in 2013, a social enterprise that aims to empower human capital and boost productivity in the nation. The Princess was recognised by Forbes magazine in 2014 as one of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women.Princess Reema Al Saud was appointed Vice President of Planning and Development at the General Sport Authority in 2016 and is an Advisory Board Members of the Saudi National Creative Initiative, a collaborative knowledge exchange platform for talented young Saudis that aims to leverage their creativity and develop their skills.His Excellency Khalid Abdulaziz held office in the cabinet of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in 2014.
In addition to being President of Al Ahli Youth Fund, he chaired the Africa Cup of Nations 2006 and the U-20 World Cup 2009.Engineer Sherif Al Aryan is the Head of Egypt’s Modern Pentathlon Federation, while World Squash Champion Nour El Sherbini is the first Egyptian girl to win the British Junior Open Under-13 category. She became the youngest world champion in the history of the sport when she won the women's title at the World Junior Squash Championships.In April last year, the SOC announced that the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees had approved SWSF as the official curator of AWST’s fourth edition, which is taking place under the auspice of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of SWSF. AWST 2018 features nine sports; basketball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics, show-jumping and karate.In 2016, His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri decree establishing SWSF as a corporate body enjoying financial independence with full capacity to carry out the necessary legation transactions to achieve its goals. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi chairs SWS assisted by an advisory committee comprising highly qualified members with combined vast experience in the foundation’s sphere of work.