Empowering Women: Sports and Leadership

Studies have shown that women who play sport are more likely to graduate from college, find a job, and be successful in male-dominated industries. Whether pursuing a career in sports and sports administration, or simply having benefitted from sports to become a strong and independent individual and professional, the panel will draw from the experiences and life paths of highly accomplished women to present how sport can be a catalyst for personal development and success.


Behavioral Change: Sports as the Norm

With more than 80% of the world's adolescent population rating as insufficiently physically active, this panel will use a series of contemporary case studies to explore the positive effects that behavioral change programs, events, campaigns and communication strategies can have on individuals, communities and society as a whole.


  • H.E. Aref Alawani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC)
  • Kate Bosomworth, Board Member, Sport England and Board Lead for the ground breaking women’s campaign "This Girl Can"
  • May El-Khalil, Founder, Beirut Marathon Association
  • Tala Al-Ramahi, Manager, Office of Strategic Affairs for the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi

Sponsorship and Media: Increasing Value in Women’s Sports

With a new era of women’s sports on the rise and traditional sponsorship being replaced by content marketing, the landscape for brands investing in women’s sport is expanding quickly. So why should brands invest in Women’s Sports? This panel will discuss the key benefits to the corporate world in exchange for investment in the women’s sports arena.


  • Kate Johnson, Vice President and Head of Global Sponsorship Marketing, VISA
  • Gavin Makel, Head of Women's Football, Manchester City Football Club
  • Alan Pascoe MBE, former President of CSM Sport and Entertainment and former Olympic Athlete

The Making of a 21st Century Role Model: The Rise of Sports Women in the Arab World

This panel will reveal success stories of sportswomen from the Arab world, looking at how they defied stereotypes, whilst breaking through social barriers. Discussions will focus on the moments in time that inspired our panelists to do what they do, how they have overcome personal obstacles to maximize their achievements and the enabling factors giving them the strength to believe, to succeed and to Inspire Generations.


  • Zahra Lari, UAE figure skating champion
  • Samar Nassar, CEO of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016, and former Olympic Athlete
  • Raha Moharrak, first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest

Sport Across Generations: Opportunities and Challenges

How has sport, from grassroots to the elite level, changed in terms of its accessibility, the way it is structured or the way it has been promoted over the generations? Bringing together icons from across the age spectrum and from different corners of the sporting world, we hear from the pioneers as they share and compare their vast and diverse experiences, and discuss the challenges that they faced in reaching their personal and athletic goals.


Making Your Health a Priority – Mubadala Healthcare Panel

A growing body of research shows that a physically active lifestyle lowers risk for a host of chronic illnesses that adversely affect women’s lives, including heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. A panel of medical experts will discuss the health and wellbeing benefits to women of taking part in sport, from a personal as well as a professional standpoint, and how to overcome the barriers women face in participating.

Department of Health Academic Session: Presentations of Shortlisted Papers

ICSW is the Middle East’s leading forum where students, professors and higher education faculties come together to share insights and research, and to hear from some of the leading figures in the international sporting world. As part of our commitment to support learning and development amongst students in the UAE and internationally, ICSW is calling on students and academics to submit study abstracts for consideration by a panel of experts through the ICWS website. The Academic Research session will provide the authors of the best eight submitted abstracts with the opportunity to share their findings in a 10 minute oral presentation in front of an assembled audience of academia, industry leaders and experts.