13th February, 2016 (WAM) -- The 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST 2016) concluded yesterday with another gold medal for the Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) who won gold after defeating the Jordanian Orthodox Club in the final basketball match 66-42, while the Egyptian Sporting Club finished third and clinched the bronze medal for basketball after beating the Algerian Olympic team 67-43.
The tournament saw the participation of 58 clubs from 18 countries competing in eight sports, including basketball and volleyball in group competitions and table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics in individual games, as well as show jumping, which was added to the tournament this year. It was held under the generous patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, from February 2nd -12th.
The Algerian Youth Club scored the highest number of medals, 17 in total, including nine gold, five silver and three bronze, while the Bahraini Al Hala Club came second with 15 medals, including nine gold and three silver and three bronze.
Sharjah Ladies Club came third after it increased its portfolio of medals to 25, including three gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze, while Al Bahrain Club finished fourth with 13 medals, including three gold, four silver and six bronze.
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee, praised the performances of clubs and congratulated Sharjah Ladies Club on an excellent overall performance. He said, "The tournament was wonderfully well organised and a huge success thanks to the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and the hard work of the organising committee. All the participating Arab delegations have lauded the exceptional organization of the tournament."
Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz 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, said, "The tournament is designed to contribute to the development of Arab women’s sport and we also seek to encourage every girl, woman and mother to exercise and make physical activities part of their lifestyle. We look forward to seeing more Arab female athletes compete globally as a result of AWST particularly because this is the only exclusively Arab women’s sports tournament held on this scale."
Nada Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST's Supreme Organising Committee, Head of the Executive Committee and Tournament Manager, congratulated H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi on the major success of the 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament. Al Naqbi revealed that the Supreme Organising Committee will start planning for AWST 2018 immediately and said there will be major developments. Al Naqbi thanked the Arab media and sponsors for their support saying they have been instrumental to its success and highlighted the role played by the companies and sponsors which contributed greatly to the tournament's success.
"I also thank the UAE’s wise leadership, especially the care and support extended by the Mother of the UAE, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairperson of the General Women's Union and Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council," said Al Al Naqbi.
The first ever Female Sports Journalist Forum was held alongside AWST under the slogan, "It’s Your Turn", which aimed to highlight challenges facing female sports journalists and to advance the status of female sports journalists across the Arab world.
The forum concluded with five recommendations, which included helping more women in to sports media which includes finding solutions for support and more sponsors. Secondly there is a need to work on increasing the role of women in sports journalism and have more workshops that relate to sports journalism. Cooperation between media organisations needs to increase to enable women’s sports more broadcasting time. Another recommendation is to prepare and plan a strategy to develop the skills of players and administrators in the various sports federations. The final recommendation is to give more attention to award-winners promoting them as models for next generations.