abu dhabi As the first International Basketball Tournament for women gets underway on July 11, Omniyat Al Hajiri says such tournaments will encourage Emirati women to develop as individuals and also enhance their participation in international events.
“We are proud to announce the tournament. It will see some of the strongest and most reputable teams in the Gulf and the Middle East fighting for the top honours. The academy’s main objective in the movement towards better participation in women’s sports will be to ensure talented athletes will be grown and nourished,” said Al Hajiri, member of the board of directors of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy.
“This will be a one of its kind event as the academy aims to organise international tournaments for different sports, as well as host and organise international conferences which will act as a stepping stone in the journey to develop Emirati sports,” she added.
The tournament, which is supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with The UAE Basketball Association, will see six teams - Fatima Bint Mubarak Academy (UAE), Orthodox Club (Jordan), Al Najmah Club (Bahrain), Al Fatah Club (Kuwait) Sporting Club (Egypt), and Tunsi Club (Tunisia).
The teams will be divided into two groups and the teams will play each other once in their respective groups. The top two teams from each group will then proceed to the semi-finals.
Al Hajiri said the academy has taken all necessary steps to ensure the tournament is of the highest standards.
“We want to ensure that the players get to perform at the highest possible standards. We also have made sure that this event is of the highest grade in terms of organisation, logistics, technical and marketing.
“We welcome all the teams and wish them success in the tournament,” she added.
Talal al Hashimi, representative of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said the field of women’s sports has achieved a lot due the enormous support of the nation’s leaders.
“The Abu Dhabi Sports Council directs great efforts to improving the women’s sector in sports.
“The first international basketball tournament for women is considered a victory for the academy to set this event into its agenda and list of initiatives and programmes.
“There is an array of benefits most importantly that of gaining experience on an international level. We confirm full support in all of the academy’s activities and specially in creating new tournaments and championships that will help in honing the skills and the expertise of our Emirati players,” he said.