From its origin in 1997 as a women’s sports tournament comprising of teams solely from the six-member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council to its gradual evolution and expansion in 2012 into a tournament encompassing world-class sportswomen and athletes from across the pan Arab region, the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST) has grown in size and stature and is today, a true indicator of the progress of women’s sports nationally,
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Hosted by Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS) and held biennially under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of SWS, the phenomenal growth of this tournament over the years exemplifies its commitment to providing a platform for women athletes to thrive and realise their aspirations, and reaffirms Sharjah’s role in nurturing and advancing women’s sports in the Arab world.
AWST has grown to become an international competition platform, enabling high-calibre Emirati sportswomen to compete with their Arab counterparts, and together, they present a true image of the region’s sporting spirit to the world.
Featuring just five games in its 2012 debut, the enthusiasm and dedication of the Emirati and Arab players prompted SWS to increase the tournament’s games to seven in the 2014 edition. One game was added in the 2016 edition and in 2018, with the addition of yet another the number of competition disciplines rose to nine.
Last year, sportswomen from 16 Arab countries and 67 clubs competed professionally in basketball, volleyball, table tennis, archery, fencing, equestrian jumping, karate, shooting, and finally, athletics.
The upcoming 2020 edition scheduled to be held in Sharjah from February 2 is poised to be the largest yet in terms of regional participation.
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