Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud won Arab Sports Personality Award, on Wednesday, at the 9th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award ceremony held in Dubai.
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award is the biggest award of its kind in the world and one of the entities under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Princess Reema said that she wants to see more women take up top positions in Saudi Arabian sports federation and inspire the generations to follow.
The Saudi princess was the first female to lead a Saudi sports federation when she took over as president of the Federation for Community Sports in October, Princess Reema is also Deputy President of Saudi Arabia’s Sports Authority for Planning & Development.
Her pioneering role in the founding and regulation of women’s sports in Saudi Arabia backed up the introduction of sports among girls in public schools.
Princess Reema won the prestigious Arab Sports Personality award at the 9th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, which comes under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Thanking His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his “pioneering approach to sports and athletes, not just local but the wider Arab region”, which has seen the MBR Creative Sports Award become the “dream of every Arab athlete and official”, Princess Reema said asserting her hope to see many more Saudi women follow her lead.
“I am hoping to see women in the top hierarchy of every sports federation in Saudi Arabia, for they will then become role models for the women who follow,” said Princess Reema as she spelt out her dreams for sports in Saudi Arabia in the main session of the 9th Sports Creativity Forum on Tuesday at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers’ Godolphin Ballroom.
“It is important that women take up these positions, learn on the job and then pass on their knowledge to the next generation.”
Women’s sports, however, is not the principal focus of Princess Reema. As head of Community Sports, she is trying to reach out to a wider segment of the society and hoping to increase the pool of people playing sports.
“When I first came into sports administration, the goal was to develop women's sport and expand its base in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “But soon I discovered it is youth sport that needs greater attention. So we had to change our strategy of focusing on women’s sport and turn our attention towards youth sport in the country.
“We had a meeting with all the federations and we decided that our goal will be to increase the number of youths playing individual sports. We need a pool of at least 20,000 if we hope to find 100 good ones, and that is our goal.”
Sheikh Hamdan congratulates MBR Creative Sports Award winners
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, has congratulated the winners of the 9th Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award and thanked them for their “extraordinary efforts” to promote creativity and the empowerment of women in sports.
“We welcome these creative athletes and officials in a country that prides itself in taking a creative approach to work and has become a fertile ground for creative people, embracing them and sponsoring their work as they contribute – not just locally but internationally - towards the advancement of sport, which is not just an important human activity but also a reflection of a country’s progress and evolution,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
“The ninth edition of the Awards takes on an even greater status as it is being held at the beginning of the Year of Zayed, a year that is associated with the ideals of the beloved founder of our country, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. We follow his lead in all our work and all our initiatives, and our aim is to build a better future for our youth and sports.
“We are aware of the extraordinary efforts of all the winners and their notable achievements, which have raised the level of competitions. The winning local and international sports organisations have offered programmes and initiatives that have supported the Awards’ noble objectives, especially the main focus of this ninth edition of the awards, which is the empowerment of women in sports.
“They are all deserving winners of an Award that has the honour of carrying the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” added Sheikh Hamdan.
Winners of the 9th MBR creative sports award
UAE Sports Personality: HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (UAE)
Arab Sports Personality: HRH Princess Rima bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud (KSA)
UAE Outstanding Athlete: Omar Abdul Rahman Al AMoodi (Football)
UAE Referee: Ebrahim Yousef Al Mansoori (Beach Soccer)
UAE Coach: Saeed Bin Suroor Al Khaldi (Horse Racing)
UAE Organisation: UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation
Arab Outstanding Athlete: Nour Atef El Sherbini (Egypt – Squash)
Arab Administrator: Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Al Gannas (KSA)
Arab Referee: Tarek Bin Mohamed Souei (Tunisia)
Arab Coach: Faris Ibrahim Al Assaf (Jordan)
Arab Team: Iraqi Youth Football Team U16
International Organisation (For Association of Summer Olympic International Federations): Union Cycliste International (UCI)
International Organisation (For IOC-Recognised International Sports Federations): International Cricket Council (ICC)
Arab Emerging Athlete: Mohammed Mustafa Al Sowaiq (KSA – Taekwondo)
Distinguished Athlete: Farida Hisham Osman (Egypt – Swimming)
Difficult Challenges (People of Determination Category):
1. Abdellatif Baka (Algeria – Athletics)
2. Fouad Baka (Algeria – Athletics)
Olympic Creative Sports:
1. Mohammed Gammoudi (Tunisia – Athletics)
2. Hicham El Guerrouj (Morocco – Athletics)
UAE Emerging Athlete (Nominees):
1. Hussain Yousuf Anwar (Football)
2. Ammar Mohammed Al Sedrani (Chess)
3. Maitha Abdulla Hasan (Judo)
4. Wadima Saeed Abdulla (Jiu Jitsu)
5. Omar Mohammed Alwan (Jiu Jitsu)
6. Abdalla Guhloom Al Maazimi (Taekwondo)