The Sharjah Women's Sports (SWS) has announced the launch of the ‘Sports Future Pioneers’, a first-of-its-kind diploma in the region. The initiative which seeks to develop the leadership skills of sportswomen to empower their participation in developing and shaping the local sports sector, aligns with the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of SWSF.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at the SWS, with the participation of HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Director General of SWS and HE Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Secretary General of Sharjah Sports Council. The conference was attended byHis Excellency Mohammed Bin Darwish, Executive Director the National Olympics Committee, HE Khawla Al Serkal, Director General of Sharjah Ladies Club; Nada Al Shaibani, Founder and Chairman of Noon Sport; Brigadier General Arif Al Sharif, Director General of Resources and Support Services at Sharjah Police; Brigadier General Abdullah bin Ghaffar, Director of Police Training Institute; HE Ahmed Al Sharif, Director of DARSA Academy;
A leading development vision
HE Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Director General of Sharjah Women's Sports Foundation, said that the initiative will collaborate with local and international institutions to build a new generation of women sports leaders, attract talented staff and develop their skills for the advancement of the sport sector. It reflected the efforts of the UAE and Sharjah to support the global drive to empower women as leaders and influencers of change in their communities.
Al Naqbi pointed out that the initiative was part of the Foundation’s efforts to drive social development through sports, develop the capabilities of local sportswomenand forge effective partnerships with various international sports organisations.
She said: “This initiative paves the way for furthering the development of the sports industry. We are confident that women athletes who have accomplished outstanding sporting achievements will be able to take the local sports sector to the next level.”
Al Naqbi added: “Our aim is to empower the participants and provide them with the knowledge and skillsets to contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the local sports sector on a global scale. Empowering women socially is a comprehensive process that includes all sectors, including women’s sports.”
She explained that the first phase of the six-month programme, titled ‘Strategic Leadership Skills in Sports Institutions’, will continue until September 21. It will include three training workshops - ‘Leadership Skills in Sports’, ‘Discovering the Capabilities of Athletic Leaders’ and ‘Leading Meetings in Sports Institutions’.
She added that the programme had received 40 applications from many government entities in the UAE and Sharjah, as well as from some sportswomen. Only 25 applicants, aged between 20-35, had been admitted to the programme.
Courses and workshops
Al Naqbi said the programme consisted of a series of workshops and training sessions on strategic leadership and governance in sports organisations, communication and media engagement, and knowledge management. The agenda included seminars on the future accelerators of women’s sports, sports organisation management, as well as sports investment and marketing.
Participants will also attend training workshops on innovation and technology in sports and organising and managing sporting events. There will be courses on financial management in the sports industry, latest innovations in management of sports organisations; the physical and psychological preparation of athletes, as well as standards of sports diplomacy.
HE Issa Hilal Al Hazami, Secretary General of Sharjah Sports Council said: “The ‘Sports Future Pioneers’, is a professional diploma that aims to create a new generation of young women sports leaders. The initiative is part of a national approach to empower women in sports and aligns with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah in supporting women in the sports sector.”
Al Hazami said that the candidates have been carefully selected from young girls aged between 20 to 35 years, who will be trained and prepared to be role models for the future generation of policymakers in sports sector.
“This initiative reflects the directives of the wise leadership of the UAE and Sharjah, to launch initiatives and programmes that invest in youth, unleash their potential and empower them to contribute to sustainable community development. We wish the participants success in their professional and personal life," he concluded.
The Sports Future Pioneers initiative is the outcome of a partnership with the Sharjah Sports Council (SSC) and supports the UAE National Agenda 2021.
Investing in female athletes
One of the participants in the programme, Ghalia Abdullah Al Mazmi, International Relations Officer, the National Olympic Committee, said: "The ‘Sports Future Pioneers’ diploma reflects Sharjah Women's Sports Foundation’s commitment to invest in female athletes, develop their capabilities and expertise to hold leadership positions regionally and globally.”
She continued: "Emirati and Arab women have achieved remarkable success in sports thanks to the efforts of the UAE and Sharjah to create a gender-neutral,supportive and motivating sports environment. I hope the diploma will provide me with the knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career in sports and build a brighter future.”
Latifa Mazmi, shooting champion from Sharjah Women's Sports Club, said the initiative was a pioneering effort to develop women's sports. It would enable women to enhance their capabilities and shape the future of the sports industry as leaders. It was an effective tool to invest in sportswomen and motivate them to achieve their dreams to represent their countries in sports events.
She concluded: "Supported by all the sports institutions, Emirati women have over the years made many outstanding achievements at local, regional and international sporting events and competitions. This new initiative is a step forward towards women empowerment in sport."
Upon completion of the programme, participants will receive a UK-accredited professional diploma, which will qualify them for leadership roles in the sports industry.
For registration, applicants must send a short video that demonstrates their desire to join the programme along with their resume in the approved form. Candidates will have to appear for an interview and psychological evaluation test.