The Sharjah Ladies Club’s (SLC) Women Sports Department in collaboration with the UAE Taekwondo and Karate Federation and the Sharjah Sports Council will represent Sharjah in hosting the 4th Male and 2nd Female West Asian Karate Championships this coming Monday and Tuesday.
Held under the supervision of the West Asian Karate Federation (WAKF) and the UAE Taekwondo and Karate Federation, the two-day sporting event will take place at SLC’s state-of-the-art gymnasium. Participating countries include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
Kicking off next Monday at 10 am and concluding on Tuesday, September 15th, the competition’s official opening ceremony will be held on Monday at 5 pm. The WAKF matches will be preceded by a training session for referees and coaches, scheduled to take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Sharjah ladies Club on September 12th and 13th.
Speaking on the event, Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Director of the WAKF Championship, Chairperson of the Women’s Committee in the Arab Karate Union, and Director of SLC’s Women Sports Department, said: “By hosting this important regional tournament we seek to emphasize the emirate as an ideal venue for various championships and sports tournaments, while promoting healthy competition for both male and female contestants between sisterly and friendly countries. This approach falls in line with the directives of Her Highness SheikhaJawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Sharjah ladies Club, to raise the emirate’s profile on the world’s sporting map.”
She added: “We also aim, through such competitions, to raise the technical and athletic skills of our female players by engaging them in sporting contests with professional athletes, encouraging them to gain the experience and expertise that qualify them to clinch the most sought-after victories in global sporting arenas.”
She went on to say: “Taekwondo and karate are considered forms of martial arts that enable their practitioners to gain self-defense techniques and fighting skills by depending on their physical fitness and mental agility. Practitioners of these sports are skilled in strength, stamina, speed, balance and flexibility, along with possessing marvelous harmony between the muscular and nervous systems and rapid reaction. Such martial arts are not limited to physical movements and kicking. Taekwondo is not only a sporting exercise, but can also develop a strong and focused mind.”
Al Naqbi thanked Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi for her generous patronage of the WAKF championship at the SLC’s Women Sports Department, as well as for her ongoing support for general sports and women’s sports in particular.
Major Nasser Al Razooqi, President of the UAE Taekwondo and Karate Federation and Vice President of the World Karate Federation, lauded the SLC’s Women Sports Department’s great and rapid response to the request for hosting and organizing the tournament, and stressed that the federation will continue to maintain a strong relationship with the Women Sports Department.
On the selection of SLC’s Women Sports Department by the Sharjah Sports Council to host this championship, Ahmed Nasser Al Fardan, Secretary General the Sharjah Sports Council said that Sharjah’s hosting of this championship suitably capitalizes on the emirate’s world-class sports facilities. It also utilizes regional and international sporting events like these to furthermore promote Sharjah, as the emirate prepares to host more championships over the next period, most notably the 3rd Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST 2016) scheduled to be held in February 2016.
The West Asian Karate Championship kicked off in 2012 after the WAKF’s Board of Directors was restructured upon an initiative by Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Al Qannas. The 1st West Asian Karate Championship was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while the emirate of Dubai hosted the last year’s championship. Held annually, the tournament enjoys great interest from Western Asian countries especially, offering referee and coaching training courses and accreditation certificates awarded by the Asian Karate Federation.