• Lamia Abdulaziz Khan highlights the status of Women Sports in Dubai at the International Conference on Sports for Women
Lamia Abdulaziz Khan highlights the status of Women Sports in Dubai at the International Conference on Sports for Women
Lamia Abdulaziz Khan: "We look forward to a greater representation of women on the boards of sports clubs."

Within her capacity as the Deputy Chair of the Women Sports Committee at Dubai Sports Council, Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, who is the Director of Dubai Ladies Club, recently participated in a workshop addressing the importance of UAE Ladies Sports Divisions and their role in boosting the UAE female presence of field of sports; at the 3rd edition of the International Conference on Sports for Women in Abu Dhabi.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Mother of the Nation, the theme for this year's conference was 'Sports without Barriers', with many notable speakers including high achieving sportswomen from all over the world, openly sharing their stories of overcoming every conceivable barrier – be it physical disability, gender, social or personal issues, and thereby inspiring women in the UAE and the region to step forward and participate in sports.

The workshop was graced by the presence of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare; H.E. Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, H.E. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmood, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council; H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, along with heads of various sports federations, clubs and international sports personalities.

During her opening remarks, she began by expressing her appreciation to the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood “Um Al-Arab”, for her generous patronage of the International Conference on Sports for Women, which is an invaluable platform that highlights the challenges and untapped potential of UAE sports women. She then continued by sharing her heartfelt gratitude to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Board of Directors of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, for the important work she had done to propel the ladies sports movement in the U.A.E. forward.

Moving forward, she highlighted the various achievements of the Women Sports Committee at Dubai Sports Council in delivering on the wise leadership's vision for a thriving sports community. Since its formation in the Committee has be diligent in its efforts to promoting the culture of sport and practice of physical activity among women in Dubai, and to prepare females to the level of competition of local, regional and even global.

She also touched on the contribution of the Women's Committee in supporting talented individuals to compete on both, a local and regional level, by providing them with exclusive ladies facilities and expertise in cooperation with the relevant local and international institutions that will expand the practice of women's sport.

She continued by explaining the representation of Dubai Ladies Club on the Women's Committee and its role in the dissemination of sports culture for women by organizing a variety of sporting events. She explained that Dubai Ladies Club is committed to enhancing the role of women in field of sports. Reflect the long standing devotion of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs to provide unlimited support for Emirati women in all sectors, further enabling them with the skills and expertise to become partners in the nation building; which includes her unwavering devotion to the cause of raising the profile of female athletes in Dubai.

Most recently Dubai Ladies Club announced the Ladies Squash Competition and hosted the highly successful Women's Sports Village event, which was dedicated to educating ladies about the benefits of leading an healthy and active lifestyle. She noted that the signing of a joint agreement between the two parties served to further combine the efforts of both side to fulfil the vision of the leadership to have a large community of women's sports services in Dubai.

Moreover, she explained that one of the main goals of Dubai Ladies Club has been to help women discover their hidden potential in sports and athletics. By providing members with a wide selection of sports facilities and support services, the Club aims to encourage more women help find their inner sports woman. One such example is the recent establishment of a Running Club at DLC. Comprising of members, who used to attend regular fitness classes, the Club's qualified trainers and fitness instructors helped them discover their passion and discover a love for running. The DLC Running Club began with seven ladies and today it has over 60 members, who run together twice a week and partake in regular running challenges and organised training programs that help prepare them for UAE marathons.

Shedding further light on the challenges faced by the Council, Lamia Abdulaziz Khan said that the Women Sports Committee currently places a strong emphasis to building a solid foundation for the identification and development of promising female sporting talents, while keeping in mind the cultural and societal needs of women in the region. The Committee also continues to explore new and better opportunities for women's training and sports coaching.

The Women's Committee is also responsible for monitoring the performance of the sports divisions of various women's clubs through field visits and the development of a code of standards for Women's Sports Clubs. This was achieved by the introduction of a new awards category entitled "Best Club in Women's Sports" at the Annual Sports Excellence Awards. The Committee also arranges school championships for girls, who are considered as the base of sports pyramid that aim to instil ethical values of sportsmanship among female competitors; while also hosting corporations & clubs competitions for women beside other tournaments, targeting all ladies in society, at public parks & sports facilities. The Committee is also responsible for the Sheikha Hind Women's Sport Tournament, taking into consideration that this Tournament is one of the greatest women’s sports events with respect to its various competitions & number of participants.

She also counted the many other sporting achievements of the Committee which includes the Dubai School Games for Girls, Private Sector Basketball Championship - Ladies, Women's Challenge Games, Together We Pink Dubai Creek event, and much more.

To conclude, Lamia Abdulaziz Khan expressed the vision of the future of the Committee, referring to a greater representation of women on the boards of clubs and sports departments, thereby increasing the participation of UAE women, and women's teams in sports tournaments, which will in turn not only improve the standards of female professional players in clubs but make the field of sports enjoyable by the entire family.

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