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The Future Looks Promising, Says First Female President Of UAEAF
(7 January 2020)

 

Last year saw Emirati women breaking new ground, when Sahar Al Obad was named first female President of the UAE Athletics Federation, UAEAF.

Interviewed by Emirates News Agency, WAM, Al-Obad said it was normal to see a woman heading the federation of the athletics, highly perceived as a male-dominated sport.

"For me, becoming the first woman to head the UAEAF is a culmination of the UAE's vision for women empowerment. Emirati women are already assuming high positions. We have women ministers, Federal National Council members, doctors, pilots and so on," noted Al Obad.

I have been an athlete since my childhood, she continued. Emirati women are very fortunate, thanks to the visionary approach of our leadership and the unlimited support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF). I encourage all women in the Emirates, to get active in sports and I believe we are well qualified and positioned to lead in this field."

On why she opted for athletics, she said: "I am a born athlete. Before joining the management, I had played basketball and practiced running. I have been a UAEAF member for 12 years and prior to that, I headed the women committee for the UAE Basketball Association. After graduating from university in 2000, I became a member of Women’s Sports Committee in Sharjah Women’s Club."

Asked about her priorities as President of the UAEAF, Al Obad said that since day one, she and the other members of the federation, have been busy setting goals for advancing and promoting athletics in the UAE.

"We have 22 clubs that are currently active in various competitions and we have the right pool of young and talented athletes. All I can say now is that the future looks promising for UAE athletics. Last month, we organised four cross country races in Meliha, Khorfakkan and Al Jazira Al Hamra and last Friday, we also held the Vice President's Cup Championship for all age groups and the results were very positive."

Come February, the UAEAF will officially kick off the local season for track and field, with competitions in sprints, middle distance, and long-distance track, as well as shot put, discus, javelin, and hammer throw. Also on the cards, are regional and international championships in Kuwait, Tunisia and China.

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