Shaikha Hayat receives IOC Women & Sport Award for Asia

Shaikha Hayat receives IOC Women & Sport Award for Asia
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Published November 11th, 2015 - 16:37 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Shaikha Hayat collected her award from IOC President Thomas Bach (source: albiladpress.com)
Shaikha Hayat collected her award from IOC President Thomas Bach (source: albiladpress.com)

Supreme Council for Youth and Sports member, Bahrain Olympic Committee board member and chairwoman of the women’s sports committee Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa received the 2015 International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Women & Sport Award for Asia.

At the awards ceremony at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Shaikha Hayat was honored for her longstanding efforts to promote women in sport, that have resulted in strong female representation on its board, in senior management, and on its Olympic teams.

Shaikha Hayat collected her award from IOC President Thomas Bach, watched by high-ranking sports officials from all over the world, including IOC Executive Committee member Prince Faisal bin Al Hussain of Jordan, President of ANOC and OCA President Shaikh Ahmed Al Subah, IOC vice-president Nawal Al Mutawakel and Bahrain ambassador to Switzerland Dr Yousef Abdulkarim.

Shaikha Hayat’s award-winning achievement was admired by Bach, who commended her efforts in boosting women’s sports in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

"This year marks 20 years since the creation of the women in sport commission, which has worked tirelessly to increase female participation in sport at all levels," said Bach.

"Our commitment to gender equality is not new. It has already found expression in Olympic Agenda 2020 – the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement – which underlines the IOC’s commitment to gender equality".

"The recommendations, which were unanimously adopted in December last year, call for the IOC to work with International Federations to achieve 50 per cent female participation in the Olympic Games and to stimulate women’s participation and involvement in sport by creating more participation opportunities at the Games," added Bach.

On her part, Shaikha Hayat said she was honored to receive this prestigious award, which culminates the unlimited support Bahrain has been getting from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.

She noted that the support offered to the Bahraini women by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, also played a key role in strengthening of Bahrain women at all levels to occupy highest posts abd honors.

Shaikha Hayat added that the award will be an incentive for her for more efforts and to further develop women's sports in Bahrain in partnership with all sports entities within the Kingdom, and stressed that the IOC is one of the most important partners and that this international esteem will push her to accomplish many achievements for women’s sport at all levels.

As an athlete in the traditionally conservative country of Bahrain, Shaikha Hayat pioneered the inclusion of women in sport not only in her own country, but also throughout the Gulf region.

Following her success as both a table tennis and volleyball player, Shaikha Hayat played an active role within sporting organisations in Bahrain and the region, with a committed focus on empowering and promoting women in sport.
She was first elected Vice President of the Bahrain Table Tennis Association and later became Deputy Chairperson of the Table Tennis Development Committee in the Arab Table Tennis Federation, and then Vice-President of the Arab Table Tennis Federation.

Shaikha Hayat also chaired the Women and Sport Committee of the West Asian Games Federation from 2005 to 2012, and was a member of the Organising Committee for Women’s Sport in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Her success in the development of women’s sport in the region eventually led to her becoming a fully-fledged board member of the West Asian Sports Federation.

Most recently, Shaikha Hayat was elected President of the Bahrain Table Tennis Association and, as a board member of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, has worked with all national sports federations to promote women’s sport through increased funding and the establishment of local women’s leagues. She has also worked with the Ministry of Education and a talent identification committee in establishing a sports centre for girls.

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