Female Emirati Athletes
Top female Emirati athletes (from left): Noora Hassan Al Mazmi, Fatima Al Blushi, Fajr Al Marzouqi, Houra Al Ajmi, Yasmin Tahlak and Rawda Al Rowbari. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: In the vast and challenging world of sports, female Emirati and Arab athletes are rising to achieve their ambitions, demonstrating boundless potential across a spectrum of disciplines.

From the swift tracks of athletics to the strategic focus of table tennis and the disciplined art of karate to the precision of shooting and the teamwork of basketball, these female athletes are making history.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Their remarkable participation in the seventh edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST 2024), held in Sharjah from February 2 to February 12, is not just about competition. It represents a broader narrative of empowerment, excellence, and breaking barriers that traditionally confined women’s roles in sports, education, and professional arenas.

Here are some trailblazing women athletes who participated in the mega event in Sharjah:

Fatima Ali Hassan Al Blushi

Fatima Al Blushi'-1710299813929

Among these athletes, Fatima Ali Hassan Al Blushi, a 22-year-old sprinter for the Sharjah Women’s Sports Club and the UAE national team, exemplifies the essence of dedication and balance. Specialising in the 100 and 200-meter sprints, Al Blushi holds the UAE national records for both distances, showcasing her prowess on the track.

Despite the demands of her athletic career, she maintains a disciplined regimen, training at least three hours daily while balancing professional commitments. Her achievements extend beyond national boundaries, with a GCC-level medal under her belt and aspirations for podium finishes in upcoming Asian tournaments.

Al Blushi’s athletic journey transitioned from team sports to the individual challenges of track and field, driven by a desire to explore her limits and excel. “Athletics allows me to leverage my abilities fully, unlike team sports, which depend on collective effort,” she explains.

This shift underscores her pursuit of personal excellence and her advice to young girls: embrace athletics for its empowerment and the diverse opportunities it presents for achieving greatness. Al Blushi’s story is not just about breaking records but also about breaking barriers, embodying the spirit of resilience and determination.

Houra Al Ajmi’s karate journey

Houra Al Ajmi-1710299815533

Houra Al Ajmi’s foray into the world of karate in 2010 marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Al Ajmi, 28, has transformed her passion into a source of discipline, confidence, and resilience, attributing her success in karate to its profound impact on her life.

“Karate is more than a sport; it’s a journey that has taught me the value of discipline, the strength of confidence, and the importance of resilience,” she shares.

Her dedication to karate has not only led her to accumulate numerous accolades but has also been pivotal in shaping a persona that tackles life’s challenges with grace and determination.

Beyond physical mastery, Al Ajmi emphasises karate’s role in cultivating a disciplined mindset and a respectful attitude towards others, which she applies to her personal and professional life.

“The discipline I’ve learned from karate is instrumental in managing my time effectively and respecting others. It’s a synergy that enhances my lifestyle, ensuring that the lessons learned in the dojo positively influence my everyday interactions and decision-making.”

Al Ajmi’s narrative illustrates the transformative power of sports, highlighting how the lessons learned in pursuing athletic excellence can foster personal development and inspire others to pursue their passions with unwavering dedication.

Yasmin Tahlak’s shooting success

Yasmin Tahlak-1710299819724

Yasmin Tahlak’s journey in the precision-driven shooting sport is a compelling tale of discipline, dedication, and balance. At 28, Tahlak masterfully juggles her career at a bank, her studies towards a master’s in International Relations, and her commitment to shooting.

Her daily routine is a testament to her determination, dedicating two to three hours to training each evening, six days a week. Reflecting on her journey, Yasmin shares: “Starting at 14, I trained intensively for three years before pausing—a decision I now see as one of my greatest regrets.”

This hiatus only fueled her passion further, leading to a triumphant return to the sport she loves.

Tahlak’s message to young girls interested in shooting or any sport is perseverance and focus.

“Shooting teaches patience and concentration, qualities essential not just in sports but life,” she said. Her journey is a testament to the empowering effect of sports, highlighting how dedication to one’s passion can build self-confidence and resilience to face life’s challenges.

Her story is not only about her achievements in shooting but also serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes to never give up on their dreams, demonstrating the invaluable lessons sports can teach us about life and ourselves.

Rawda Al Rowbari’s basketball journey

Rawda Al Rowbari-1710299818469

Rawda Al Rowbari, 25, stands as a testament to the power of teamwork and passion in sports. As the Sharjah Women’s Club basketball team captain and a UAE national team player, her journey is marked by a deep appreciation for the camaraderie and thrill that basketball offers.

“Basketball is not just about the game; it’s about the effective communication, mutual understanding, and teamwork that it fosters among players,” Rawda explains. This sense of community and support is what she cherishes most, highlighting the essence of sportsmanship that energises her life both on and off the court.

Beyond the game, Al Rowbari attributes her success to the unwavering support from her club, Sharjah Women’s Sports, and the Basketball Federation. Her dedication to rigorous training sessions aimed at skill advancement and performance improvement has been key to her achievements. “Our unity, respect for competitors, and adherence to the game’s rules drive us to excel,” she said.

Rawda’s story underscores the vital role of support and teamwork in reaching one’s goals in sports, inspiring young athletes to pursue their passions with dedication and value their teams’ collective strength.

Noora Hassan Al Mazmi

Noora Hassan Al Mazmi-1710299817097

Noora Hassan Al Mazmi, a 25-year-old talent at the Sharjah Sports Club for Women, skillfully balances her passion for table tennis with her academic pursuits at the University of Sharjah, College of Communication, and her professional life.

Immersed in table tennis since 2011, Noora’s dedication to the sport has seen her achieve significant success across Gulf, Arab, and Asian levels, with aspirations to excel in future competitions. “Table tennis has been a crucial part of my development, offering a creative outlet and a platform for personal expression,” she reflects.

Initially drawn to chess, Al Mazmi found a new realm of challenge and opportunity in table tennis, which became a sanctuary for her ambitions and identity. Her sports achievements are supported by a nurturing environment fostered by her club, Sharjah Women’s Sports, and the table tennis federation, highlighting the importance of community and support in reaching one’s goals. “Switching to table tennis opened a new chapter in my life, allowing me to embrace my identity and achievements fully,” Al Mazmi says. Her journey illustrates the transformative power of sports in discovering and shaping one’s potential, encouraging young athletes to pursue their passions with determination and humility.

Fajr Al Marzouqi

Fajr Al Marzouqi-1710299812418

Fajr Al Marzouqi, a 21-year-old athlete from Sharjah Sports Club for Women and a senior at the University of Sharjah studying Business Information Systems, has made a significant mark in fencing. Her journey, which began in 2015 after participating in the School Olympics, highlights the profound impact of early encouragement and opportunity in discovering one’s passion.

“The school environment was crucial in developing my love for fencing. It offered me the first chance to train and compete, igniting a passion that has grown ever since,” Fajr reflects.

Her dedication to fencing is evident in her significant sports achievements and her aspirations for future success. Supported by the Sharjah Women’s Sports and the Fencing Federation, Fajr has navigated her path with a commitment that has seen her talents flourish.

“Fencing demands quick reflexes, precision, and strategic thinking. It’s a sport that constantly challenges me to improve and adapt,” she states. This dedication to her craft, coupled with the support she receives, underlines the importance of passion, perseverance, and a supportive environment in achieving excellence. Fajr’s story is a beacon for aspiring athletes, showcasing that attaining one’s dreams is within reach with determination and the right support.