• 8 - 30 May 2016

The FBMA is proud to launch - in partnership with HIBOU Alliance and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) - the FBMA Elite Athletes Program

Held under the generous patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood; and H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bin tHazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA), and Chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club, the FBMA Elite Athletes Program aims to deliver a world-class educational curriculum that will nurture and further develop the elite Emirati athletes of tomorrow.

Run over the course of four weeks between 8 and 30 May 2016, the program will be delivered by highly-esteemed academics and sports professionals of international caliber, who will arrive to Abu Dhabi to share their knowledge and experience with the female athletes of the Nation as they continue to empower the UAE women sports movement.



The program is designed to:

  • further develop UAE elite female athletes by offering them world class insights into the fundamental principles of sport from a pedagogic and a psychosocial perspective;
  • assess the profile of the Emirati elite female athlete.


Program Timeline 



Speakers Bios

Antoine de Navacelle

With a 37-year prominent banking career behind him, Antoine de Navacelle is currently directly involved in the promotion of the ideals of the Olympic Movement set up by one of his ancestors, Pierre de Coubertin.

He is a Member of the Board of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (CIPC) based in Lausanne. In addition he is an Honorary Member of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE), and sits on its Advisory Board, as well as the current President of the Coubertin Family Association.

Monica Hargrove

A U.S. track and field gold medalist and Rio 2016 Olympic hopeful. At the World Indoor Championships in Moscow, Russia, she helped lead the 4 x 400m Relay Team to a silver medal. Monica has continued her success in the 400m in both the U.S. and on the international circuit. As Monica is advancing through her career, she is only getting stronger and faster. In the 2014 indoor season, Monica was a part of the U.S. Women’s 4x400m Relay Team at the World Indoor Championships and returned home from Sopot as a gold medalist. Since the beginning of her elite career, Monica has been a constant IAAF World Ranking Top 50 400m Runner.

Soolmaz Aboo Ali

A ten-time US National Champion and world medalist in traditional karate, as well as the highest-placing American athlete (silver) at the invitational World Cup. She is the first Athlete Ambassador of the American Amateur Karate Federation(AAKF).

Natalia Isaac

Natalia Isaac is a basketball camp organizer and former athlete who played four seasons of basketball for Temple University. Natalia went on to organize and direct basketball camps for WNBA players and eventually for the Washington Wizards/Mystics of the NBA/WNBA.

Dr. Dikaia Chatziefstathiou

An expert in Olympic Studies and the ideology of Olympism, Dr. Dikaia Chatziefstathiou is a Reader in Olympic Studies and the Social Analysis of Sport at the School of Human and Life Sciences in Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. She is a Senior Researcher of the Centre of Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR) in Canterbury Christ Church University, and an International Research Expert of the Centre for Olympic Studies & Research at Loughborough University, UK.

Being the winner of the inaugural Coubertin Prize 2008 awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (IPCC) for her qualitative research on Pierre de Coubertin’s writings and speeches, Dr. Chatziefstathiou’s work has been widely published and cited in peer-reviewed academic journals nationally and internationally.

She has been elected as a member of the Executive Board of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (based in Lausanne) twice with her current term running until 2018. She was the Guest Editor for the Special Olympic Issue of the European Sport Management Quarterly (jointly with Professor Ian Henry). She is the author of the book "Discourses of Olympism: From the Sorbonne 1894 to London 2012" published by Palgrave (2012, also jointly with Professor Ian Henry) and has edited several books in the area of sport and society.

Ivana Busljeta

With a background in Learning & Development, Training and Facilitation, Human Resources, and Strategic Planning, and experience of working on mega sporting events, and many other complex, and rapidly changing environments, Ivana Busljeta works with individuals and teams in the areas of leadership, emotional intelligence, soft skills, and personal development.

She acts as a Director of Education for The Non-Violence Project Foundation, an international non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire, motivate, and engage young people to act non-violently. Responsible for strategic development, management and operations of all education (face to face/e-learning) she collaborates and works with six offices around the world and guides the implementation of educational programs in schools and sport clubs around the world.

Ivana received her Bachelor’s degree in Business and Human Resources (psychology) from Monash University Australia, Certificate IV in Training & Assessment, and Certificate in Neuro Linguistic Programming, and Clinical Hypnotherapy from Erickson University.

Dr. Seamus Kelly

Dr. Seamus Kelly is a College Lecturer in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science. Seamus has lectured on the BSc, MSc and Diploma in Sport and Exercise Management programs since 2002. He holds BComm (1996), MBS (2001) and PhD (2010) degrees from UCD and a Postgraduate Diploma in teaching and learning from DIT.

Since 2011, Seamus has consulted with a number of National Governing Bodies (GAA, FAI) and professional football clubs in the UK and Ireland on the application of many aspects of this doctoral research. Much of this work focuses on aspects of player, coach and manager assessment and development. In terms of research, gaining access to the closed world of professional football was due, in part, to his previous professional (Cardiff City, St. Patricks Athletic & Bohemian F.C) and semi-professional (UCD & Longford Town) playing experience.

Seamus is also a former UCD soccer scholarship recipient and was selected for the Irish Universities, Irish Beach Soccer and numerous Irish National League representative teams. He also attained one Irish B cap and numerous winners’ league medals from the UK and Ireland. Additional sporting achievements include GAA (Hurling & Football) playing experiences up to and including senior inter-county level with Offaly. Considerable coaching and managerial experience was gained with Shamrock Rovers, Drogheda United, Shelbourne and numerous senior inter-county GAA teams.

Claudia Bokel

Mrs. Claudia Bokel is an Associate Partner at S.U.P. - Societät für Unternehmensplanung (2014-). She is an Olympic athlete in fencing (épée) and a silver medalist (team) in the 2004 Athens Games, gold medalist (individual) at the World Championships (2001) and gold medalist (individual) at the European Championships (2006).

With a long career in sports administration, Mrs. Bokel has served on a number of Executive Boards in the sport of fencing and beyond. In 2008 she became a member of the International Olympic Committee, where she has served as a Member of the Executive Board since 2012 and sits on the IOC Academic Advisory Board since 2013. In 2012 she was appointed Chair of the IOC Athletes Career Programme Steering Committee, a position which she also holds to-date.

Claudia holds a Master of Science in Chemistry at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands (2008).

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson is the first African American to coach an Olympic team in either indoor or beach volleyball. He is also the first African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in either discipline.

Introduced to the sport of volleyball at the age of fourteen by his female cousins Johnelle and Cheryl, Anderson started playing on a concrete court in the local park with the Chickasaw Chicks volleyball club. Anderson was fascinated by the level of technical skill required to play volleyball and quickly developed a passion for the sport. His skills rapidly improved and he was asked to play with the Kentucky and Indiana All-stars and Louisville Flyers travelling volleyball teams. Travelling to tournaments throughout the State of Kentucky as well as the neighboring States of Ohio and Indiana Anderson began to see volleyball as a vehicle to expanding his horizons.


Expected Outcomes

The main educational goals that the program will achieve include:

- support athletes to further develop their personality as elite athletes;

- encourage them to become role models for their country and help them to find the right pathway to achieve this.

Who can participate?

The Forum is open to all athletes registered at UAE Sports Federations and Sports Clubs. Participation will be free of charge and the registration is now open on the link below. Please note that registration is required to ensure your participation, due to limited place availability. A detailed program is on our website.


HCT - City Campus.


For any inquiries, please contact the Education and Research Department at education@fbma.ae or call +971 (02) 2057356