ABU DHABI — Today, October 10th, 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA), one of the largest women’s sports organisations in the Middle East. The Academy’s first support came from H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), “Mother of the Nation”, who has always believed in the abilities of Emirati women and has worked on bracing them.
Celebrating its anniversary, the academy launched various initiatives. FBMA 10 Million Step Challenge was one of the top initiatives that broke records and was added to the long list of achievements.
Participants and competitors exceeded the desired goal of the challenge that kicked off on the 1st of October by reaching almost 13 million steps on its 3rd day. The challenge observed a vast diversity in participation from all segments of the community to support the event, as huge turnouts on the registration page and social media platforms were witnessed.
The academy revealed its new logo in the occasion of its 10th anniversary. The logo reflects a new era of goals and a new chapter in their history of achievements. It also aims to grow in terms of presence and influence as well as expanding the commercial aspect of the Academy through a series of innovative initiatives targeting women in the Emirati society. The gold arrows represent the series of events related to the academy and the slogan “Moving Forward” which the academy has been implementing for the past 10 years.
Providing all opportunities for Emirati women empowers them to unlock and refine their talents, which means participating in competitive forums and fields, achieving gains and opening doors that contribute to their leadership to play an active role in the process of developing the society. This development role has been based on a fundamental idea the Academy implemented over the past 10 years. Creating a healthy lifestyle, developing women’s sports and a creating a sporting future for ambitious generations in the UAE especially in Abu Dhabi. A journey of giving and moving forward has been formed through several stages in which all goals have been accomplished in a record period of only 10 years.
In this context, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain Ladies Clubs, addressed a motivational message to Emirati women and their achievements saying: “Today we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, We are delighted to skim through the accomplishments achieved with the determination of Emirati women. There is no doubt that they always seek to take advantage of the opportunities they’re given and establish their prestigious sporting status standing on all regional, continental and international podiums. On this occasion we thank Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, for her unlimited support of women and we assure that the Academy will always remain a platform for unlocking the potential of Emirati women, revealing their creativity and giving them the opportunity to prove themselves and move forward towards a promising sporting future.”
October 10, 2010 was the start of a new beginning in the sports field for Emirati women. After a decision was issued under the direction of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, to establish a sports academy for Emirati women. The mission was to encourage them to participate in competitive activities, through training, skills development, having qualifications of sporting leadership and forming women national teams that can shape the process of creativity and excellence. It was at that time that the Emirates Women’s Sports Committee” announced the establishment of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy in order to prepare women and girls from a sports perspective to achieve the desired results contributing to the future prosperity of women’s sport and adopt many initiatives that have a clear impact on the advancement of women in society.
This began by encouraging them to exercise and improve their performance, whether it was on the individual or collective level and then form a large base of women athletes in the capital capable of competing and achieving in various forums. Her Highness has always believed that Emirati women are capable of being outstanding and have the strength to transfer their sporting ambition to the world.
The Academy has worked on this basis, to provide the right environment to reach those goals set since its inception. Women’s sport has witnessed a paradigm shift that has brought Emirati girls to international podiums. The task was not limited to enhancing physical capabilities but, to harness research and education through conferences and seminars on various sports topics. This was to open paths for Emirati and Arab women along with providing opportunities for excellence in all fields and proficiency in reaching the highest levels of distinction.
The Academy has been a key pillar in the development of women’s sport, by the direction and sponsorship of Her Highness. The launch of sports competitions and championships was kicked off in early 2012. It started with the “Fatima Bint Mubarak International Show Jumping Cup” and through its annual editions, it has continued to establish Abu Dhabi as the capital of international sports. This show has become a destination for fans of equestrians and is one of the world’s most emerging events. It has and continues to contribute to the strengthening of the Academy’s role at the sporting level.
It resulted in 7 talents winning various titles and achievements and to whom the Academy pays special attention to.
In addition to the establishment of the “International Conference of Sport for Women” in the same year. The conference includes many specialists in the field of women’s sports, along with media representatives having panel discussions over many topics like; the positive impact of sports on women’s psychological and physical health, the importance of women associations in encouraging women to practice sports, and the role of media to encourage the practicing of women’s sports. The conference is open to any organization or sports institutes to join and is considered one of the biggest development steps. Many International and Arab women’s figures participate and represent their countries each year.
The academy’s agenda is full of events and activities for all women in society. “Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Run” is an initiative aimed at empowering and promoting community participation. Running is one of the fun sports that everyone can do at any time, which is why the Academy organizes three running events every year since 2012 up until this day. The runs usually take place in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in a vibrant atmosphere that enables women to participate with friends and family. The Academy is keen to organize such events annually, after the great success of previous editions, which received a remarkable number of participants considering the privacy and safe environment they are provided.
Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy emphasises on the need to provide encouraging programs from early stages in life. Hence, they organize the “FBMA Summer Camp” in which more than 250 girls between the ages of five and fifteen participate. The summer camp is a distinctive addition to activities of the Academy in which they put constant efforts to encourage girls to exercise starting from a young age. Such initiatives play an important role in filling the leisure time of female students with benefiting them as well during their summer vacation. It is also a chance to discover talents from a young age through various activities like; football, basketball, volleyball, even in arts and crafts. The girls also have the change to obtain educational information, from workshops provided by several institutions.
In addition to gaining experiences by practicing games that enhance the team spirit under the supervision of female trainers. The trainers are chosen by the Academy specifically to train girls and ensure their safety, also to establish a generation with strong physical health and demand for exercise.
The biggest step was to establish sports teams under the name of the Academy such as basketball and volleyball. Both teams hold their training regularly in the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club creating a professional group of female players who can participate in accredited competitions and tournaments.
The Academy organises its initiatives and events to provide direct support in making sport an essential element in the daily life of Emirati women, assuring that it adopts a healthy active lifestyle and promotes embracing the values of sportsmanship in the public awareness of the UAE with the unlimited support of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, focusing on the elements of wisdom in the fields of competition and reinforce the strengths of the athletes in sports supervised by the Academy and provide them with training and guidance.
After contributing to women’s sports empowerment, the Academy began planning a long-term phase through which it worked on an integrated strategy for the next four years.
The Academy then will be able to secure the results it has drawn in a systematic way by running plans and joining efforts with institutions and sponsors. The achievements of women in sports can become a marketing and advertising source, as a commercial and cultural product. The Academy plans to expand the mass base of women’s sport and thus increase the number of media channels conveying news of the Academy and cover its events. Finally, this will work to increase the administrative abilities in this field by developing skills and launching the new strategic plan.
All this will be with the guidance of the wise leadership directed towards achieving the vision of “Towards the Next 50” to be an agenda for action during the upcoming years full of major developments.