Within the framework of the continuous pursuit of excellence and enhancing the level of women's sports to meet and follow the vision of “Mother of the Nation” H.H Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and to achieve Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy’s strategic objectives. The second edition of the Women Leaders in Sport and Health forum was held yesterday 24th of September 2019 at Abu Dhabi Ladies Club.
A forum that brings together women who are passionate leaders, women with management positions and decision makers in all areas of sports, education and health to make differences in this area to build a strong community that strives to create more opportunities for Emirati women, with the presence of: Dr. Mai Al Jaber, Medical Directory at Health Point, Board Member of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Dr. Heidi Al Askary, Acting Director Planning & Development, General Sport Authority Saudi, CEO, Special Olympics Saudi, Dr Aysha Ibrahim Al Dhaheri, Section Head Health promotion, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, Department of Health Abu Dhabi (DoH), Dr Teoh Chin Sim, Singapore’s first Female Sports Physician, Founder Women in Sport Committee Singapore, Manal Rostom, Founder, Surviving Hijab, Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor, Nike’s Run Club.
The event was held in partnership with Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and organized by “Interact events”, The Forum has essentially pursued support to female talents and women-led companies in the UAE. An approximate of 80 female experts attended the event and workers from several related professional sectors, including a number of prominent female sports figures from the UAE and different other countries.
Whereas, the Forum focused on women’s sports and health innovations, a network of leading figures was formed, who believe in the importance of positive change and passion for creating innovation and creating new initiatives. In the presence of Human resources in government, private companies and schools along with major female investors in the sports and fitness sector.
The forum targeted Emirati women influencers to work together and leave a positive effect for a change to a healthier lifestyle that they can practice throughout their daily lives and positively affect their social environment.
Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy has been keen to provide the best innovative organizations to attend by providing a comfortable atmosphere for them to be able to speak freely and interact more in contrast with a formal forum setting and atmosphere. They followed an interesting interactive approach that required the engagement and participation of the attendees. As well as providing a creative wall to help gather thoughts and suggestions, a wall that sums up actions from the debate and discussion. Games and activities were also provided to encourage attendees and make the day more fun.A fun interactive quiz was conducted to test their knowledge of women's sports and health in the UAE. At the end of the day, the sessions were divided into discussion groups to generate and develop new initiatives that could be implemented throughout the year.
Dr Mai Ahmed Sultan Essa Al Jaber, Board Member of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy assures the importance of the forum’s objectives. The second edition of the forum is specialized in the development of new initiatives to promote the women's sports community. Local and international leaders were targeted at the Women Leaders in Sport and Health forum, the most distinguished participant was the Saudi doctor, Dr. Heidi Al Askary for the second time, who was able to attend the forum despite her prior commitment to the celebration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National Day. In which we’d like to congratulate the wise leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of this precious day, she came to see the experiences of decision makers and contribute to the process of change, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, as the link between sport and health is powerful, and our goal at the academy is not only to produce athletic talents and champions, but also to encourage the women of our society to follow patterns and a healthy career lifestyle as women have a great role in the society thus we are eager to help them stay in their best physical and mental health through sports.
The great interest we have seem in this edition of the forum proves that women are aware about the importance of sports and how it’s linked to health. Some of the health initiatives and programs will be implemented in government institutions and schools, which will help attract Emirati girls to adopt the sport they love and practice their passion.
Dr. Heidi Al Askary, Acting Director Planning & Development, General Sport Authority Saudi, CEO, Special Olympics Saudi added “it was a great honor to participate in the first edition of the Women Leaders in Sport and Health forum” and are grateful to be invited to the second edition, as this forum is an important platform for us here in the Gulf region and our sister countries, This participation is characterized by its synchronization with the Saudi National Day, which sought the spirit of brotherhood and love among my sisters in the UAE, where celebration away from my country didn’t feel far, due to the blessings, congratulations and greetings from everyone here. This confirms the depth of the relationship between us. Our presence in the forum is an opportunity to reflect the experiences of the present on the communities and expresses the extent of harmony in the aspirations between the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where women are considered the heart of society and family. A Women is a role model for her family before anything, she’s a mother, daughter, sister and support as she’s a significant impact on others. An mother active in sports affects the health outcomes of the whole family, whether this reflects on physical activity or follow a different healthy lifestyle. This will push the family members to be more confident and excepting with the sport and health environment.
She added: "There are usual barriers that may stand between women and their goals, such as culture and lack of support or the availability of places dedicated to exercise. However, the biggest obstacle we had in Saudi Arabia is the time, after a questionnaire applied to several segments of women in society, and was entitled ‘How a woman organizes her time and how she prioritizes, as long as she has the will, she’ll be able to change’.
She continued: “We are proud of the sports achievements done by Arabs and the Gulf. The interest of our leaders and the call to develop women's sports, to reach the podiums and achievements. What’s remarkable in the United Arab Emirates is that it highlights the people of determination, they proved that women's determination to achieve their goals is a force that no one can weaken, and we came to continue the sport success in the UAE. hand in hand, we will meet and we will work to enhance the Gulf and Arabs sports in the light of this cooperation and solidarity between the two countries.”
At the end of the forum, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy thanked all those who contributed to the success of this forum “Ministry of Health” and “Flash Entertainment” for their huge assistance and supporting the sports events organized by the Academy, they’re an essential part of success.