In exactly a year’s time, Abu Dhabi will play host to five days of flagship events, activities and educational initiatives as sporting icons, industry leaders and role models from the world of international sports gather in the UAE capital to celebrate, debate and discuss the future success and promotion of women’s sports.
The Official Organizing Committee, which met on Monday, has confirmed that two of the biggest international events in the sports business calendar – the 5th International Conference of Sports for Women (ICSW) and the FBM Awards – will next year take place back-to-back for the first time.
The flagship events are organised by the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) respectively, and will be part of five days of activities from 13 – 17 November 2020 in Abu Dhabi set to include community fitness events, university presentations and a sports photography exhibition amongst other things.
“Next November will a memorable week in the history of women’s sports in the UAE,” explained Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and Chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain Ladies Clubs.
“To combine two such important events, together with other community and educational activities, will be an important milestone and testament to the important role of FBMA and its mission. Women’s sports and sportswomen stand on the threshold of a new era. We have seen huge strides forward over the last year years and we have an exciting future ahead. Next November we will bring together leaders from around the world to celebrate success, and most importantly to continue to make progress and address fundamental issues for women in the sporting arena.”
The biennial flagship conference, ICSW, has gained international recognition as a unique industry gathering that promotes and supports FBMA’s vision of instilling sports into UAE culture and the daily life of all Emirati women, while advancing the global women’s sports debate. The conference is synonymous with sporting excellence and known as a pioneering platform to both challenge and empower a variety of points of view.
The last conference, staged in 2017, saw some of the most inspirational industry leaders and influencing figures in women’s sport come together, including three Ministers of State, three Olympic medallists, the winner of 10 Special Olympics medals, the founder of the Beirut Marathon, an 86 year-old record-breaking Ironman competitor, and countless sports industry pioneers, attracting over 2000 visitors from all around the world under the unifying theme of ‘Inspiring Generations’.
The FBM Sports Awards meanwhile take place every four years, drawing leaders from across the sporting world to honour the stand-out performances and work achieved by athletes, federations, governing bodies, media and others in the field of women’s sports worldwide. The ceremony features 15 award categories in three parts:
Part 1 – Individuals:
- Best Junior Athlete
- Best Arabic Sports woman
- Best Sports Woman
- Best Sportsperson of Determination
- Best Coach (Men & Women)
- Best Sports Leader
- Excellence in the Media
- Best Team
Part 2 – Federations & Partners:
- Excellence in the Media
- Best Youth Development Program
- Best Creative Sports Initiative
- Best Accomplishment in Sports Development Research
- Best Technology/Innovation in Sport
Part 3 – Sports Personality of the Year:
- International Sports Personality of the Year
- Arabic Sports Personality of the Year
ICSW and the FBM Sports Awards are initiatives of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, created to support and endorse Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak’s strategic vision that the way must be paved for women to participate in sport. The Academy aspires to help change fundamental societal behaviours amongst women in the UAE, promoting and facilitating women’s sports from the capital, Abu Dhabi. Through the conference, FBMA is seeking to fill the educational gaps that exist in the field of sports in the UAE, whilst looking to put Abu Dhabi on the global map of female sports and help the Emirate to become an international hub to advance the global women’s sports discourse.
In addition to the conference and the awards ceremony, a key focus of the week’s activities will be to support and engage with key higher education institutions in the UAE. Next year students, professors and higher education faculties will be invited to take part in a variety of educational activities at university campuses and during ICSW itself.
ICSW will take place at the Emirates Palace Hotel next year from 16 - 17 November, with the FBM Sports Awards and gala dinner taking place at the same venue on the evening of 17th. Registration for the conference will be free, whilst the awards and gala dinner are by invitation only. Further information on how to register for the conference, how to submit nominations for the Awards, and details on the other planned events and activities will be announced by the Organizing Committee in the new year.