Effat University shows the way: Girls compete in sports tournament


Saudi Gazette

— Female students from five schools and two universities in Jeddah created history by taking part in a two-week sports tournament organized by Effat University as part of its commitment to women empowerment.

The winners of this first of its kind girls sports competition were announced on Sunday at a ceremony attended by Princess Lolowah Al-Faisal.

The participants competed in swimming, running, and basketball tournaments.

“Effat has been a great contributor to the development of sports in Saudi Arabia,” said Lina Al-Maeena, Shoura Council member and the founder of Jeddah United.

“Queen Effat built the Saudi first school and sports center in Saudi Arabia. So, it is very symbolic to be here at Effat today carrying the legacy of Queen Effat with the presence of this ambitious 2030 generation,” she added.

“We organized this event as part of Effat University’s commitment to women empowerment and our strong belief in sports activities for women as part of a healthy society,” said Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, President of Effat University.

Lubna Al-Omair, the first Saudi Arabian female fencer to participate in an Olympics in 2016, attended the ceremony.

“I am very happy that we are finally able to have such contests here in universities. I have always hoped to participate in sports events back when I was at King Faisal University before traveling to the United States. It is never too late to have such contests and empower our women.”

In the swimming competition (university category), the gold medal was won by Ghadeer Hariri from Dar Al-Hekma University, while Ghofran Abdulrahim from Effat University won the silver medal, and Tahani Banaja from Dar Al-Hekma University won the bronze medal.

“I am very happy because I always love to swim since I was a child and I go diving. So, when I heard about this competition, I was very excited to participate,” Ghadeer Hariri, an architecture student, told Saudi Gazette.

In the school category swimming competition, Nilli Mansour was awarded the gold medal, Mayar Aziz the silver and Farida Ahmed the bronze. All of them represented Al-Koon International School.

“I have been practicing for a long time and I cannot express my happiness for winning today,” said 12-year-old Nilli Mansour.

In the running competition, Layal Bakhshab from Jeddah Private School won the gold medal, Aya Abu Al-Jadayel, also from Jeddah Private School, came second and Dor Jamjoom, from Dar Al-Fikr School, came third.

“I am very proud, speechless, and thankful to my teacher Asmaa Esmail,” said 14-year-old Layal Bakhashab.

In basketball, Jeddah Private School came first followed by Al-Marjan International School and Al-Nobala school.

“We practiced a lot and put a lot of efforts. This is the beginning of something really big,” said 16-year-old Noor Sahab, the Captain of Jeddah Private School team.