Dubai: The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) has laid out a three-stage process while vowing its commitment to further unlock the true potential and creativity of Emirati women in the country.
Addressing members on the completion of 10 years of FBMA, Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of FBMA and Chairperson of the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Ladies Clubs, reiterated the commitment of FBMA in bettering the sporting status of women in the UAE.
“The completion of 10 years is a good time to skim through the accomplishments achieved with the determination of our women in the UAE. There is no doubt that they always seek to take advantage of the opportunities they’re given and establish their prestigious sporting status standing on all regional, continental and international podiums,” Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa said.
“On this occasion of our tenth anniversary, we thank Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak for her unlimited support of women and we assure that the academy will always remain a platform for unlocking the true potential of Emirati women, revealing their creativity and giving them the opportunity to prove themselves and move forward towards a promising sporting future.”
Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and also called the ‘Mother of the Nation’, has always believed in the abilities of Emirati women while supporting their exploits.
And to mark the 10th anniversary of the FBMA on October 10, of one of the largest women’s sports organisation in the Middle East, the academy launched several initiatives spearheaded by the ‘FBMA 10 Million Step Challenge’. Held from October 1 to 10, the FBMA 10 Million Step Challenge broke several records and was a welcome addition to the long list of achievements at the FBMA.
Participants and competitors exceeded the desired goal of the challenge by reaching almost 13 million steps by the third day itself. The challenge observed a vast diversity in participation from all segments of community.
Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa insisted that a new start has been ushered in a fresh look at sports for women at FBMA based on the three continuing principles of a foundation stage, followed by an empowerment stage and then a final goal achieving stage.
“October 10, 2010 was the start of a new beginning in the sports field for Emirati women after Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak’s decision to set up a dedicated academy for women. Our focus is always to prepare girls and women from a sports perspective to achieve the desired results contributing to the future prosperity of our sport. The ultimate goal is to ensure the advancement of women in society,” Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa said.
“The first step was to encourage women to exercise and improve their performance, be it on the individual or collective level. Once we had a large base of women athletes, things got better as our athletes started bringing in laurels for the UAE with their performances,” she added.
“Over the past ten years we have worked tirelessly to provide the right environment to our girls. Consequently, women’s sport has witnessed a paradigm shift that has brought Emirati girls to international podiums. This task was carried forward off the field while paying attention to sports research and education through conferences and seminars on various topics,” Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa insisted.
The Empowerment Stage was a key pillar in the development of women’s sport with Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak taking a personal interest in the direction and sponsorship matters for women in sport.
The first of sports competitions, that was held in early 2012 with the Fatima Bint Mubarak International Show Jumping Cup, has grown each year.
While a special eye was kept on emerging young talents, attention was also paid to hosting the annual ‘International Conference of Sport for Women’ that has over the years brought in some of the most famous sports personalities and specialists to address UAE sportswomen.
Since 2012, the academy has been organising three running events each year either in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain enabling women to easily participate along with family and friends in a safe and secure atmosphere.
The FBMA also organises an annual Summer Camp in which more than 250 girls between the ages of five and 15 participate. The summer camp is a distinctive addition to academy’s activities in which they have put constant efforts to encourage girls to exercise from a young age.
“Such initiatives play an important role in filling the leisure time of female students while keeping them all occupied during summer vacations. The camp is also a chance to discover talent from a very young age through various activities like football, basketball, volleyball and even in the field of arts and craft,” Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa said.
Over a period of time, the FBMA today boasts of basketball and volleyball teams with both sides hold regular trainings at the premises of the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club with an eye to participate in accredited competitions and tournaments.
The final stage of goal-achieving is based on the academy pushing forward various initiatives and events to provide direct support in making sport an essential element of daily life for Emirati women. At the same time, identified talent receive all the attention and guidance needed to reinforce the strengths of athletes.
After contributing to women’s sports empowerment, the academy has now begun planning a long-term strategy through which it is looking at working on an integrated focus over the next four years.
Meanwhile, the academy has released its new logo to mark the occasion of its 10th anniversary. The logo reflects a new era of goals and a new chapter in their history of achievements. Depicting a woman in full gold, the arrows represent the series of events related with the academy along with the slogan ‘Moving Forward’ representing the various initiatives that have been implemented over the past decade.