Karate is set to make its debut as a discipline at the fourth Arab Women Sports Tournament, AWST 2018, which takes place across 10 venues in Sharjah from 2nd to 12th February.
The martial art is the ninth sporting discipline to feature in the AWST 2018 programme, which will see 68 clubs from 16 Arab countries competing in what is the largest pan-Arab women’s sporting event.
Themed "The World is Your Court, Together Victorious," the 11-day AWST 2018 is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of Sharjah Women's Sports Foundation, SWSF.
The UAE will be represented in karate by the Sharjah Sports Club for Women and Al Nasr, which will compete alongside eight other Arab clubs. With this level of participation, karate will be the most widely represented sporting discipline in the AWST 2018, despite making its inaugural appearance.
Commenting on the development, Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Deputy Head of AWST’s Supreme Organising Committee, SOC, and Head of its Executive Committee and Director-General of SWSF, said, "We are extremely pleased with the resounding response to the AWST 2018, especially with regards to karate, which, despite making the first appearance at this year’s edition, will be the most represented sport in the tournament. This demonstrates the increasing popularity of karate as a form of martial arts in the MENA region.
"The SOC decided to include karate in this year’s edition of the AWST in order to allow women who practice the contact sport the opportunity to compete in a women-friendly sporting environment and to test their combat skills and tactics against fellow karate exponents from other Arab countries. This will help ready them for participation in various international karate championships in the future.
"Karate is a sport known for its values of respect, humility and courage, with years of intensive physical training and focused mental growth required to achieve proficiency in the discipline. The inclusion of karate within the AWST’s disciplines has garnered support from the UAE Karate Federation, which is chaired by Major General Nasser Abdul Razaq Al Razooqi." "The federation has provided all means of support to ensure the success of karate’s first appearance at the AWST. The inclusion of karate in the tournament is the fruition of co-operation between the federation and the Sharjah Sports Club for Women on one hand and the Arab Olympic Committees on the other, with a view to providing an environment suitable for the significant number of Arab female players who are taking part in the competition," said Humaid Shamis, Assistant General Secretary of the UAE Karate Federation.
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