Women in Qatar are proving to be inspirational sporting role models for the next generation by breaking records and competing at the highest levels. What exactly does it take for them to get to the top of their game?
Hitting far for Qatar
Yasmian Ghanem joined the Qatar National golf team in 2008 and believes Qatar’s nurturing of golfing talent is on an upward slope. She often visits local schools and universities to encourage girls to pursue their passion. Her main base, Doha Golf Club, put its flags out in 1996, making golf as inclusive as possible with ladies’ beginner classes and an active ladies’ member section.
Education City Golf Club opened in 2019 and with 8,000 hours of coaching a year, has made equal inroads with female golfers. Coaches come from all corners of the world, like PGA Golf Professional and coach Rachel Choi who helps the juniors in the programme to perfect their swings and has seen an equal number of boys and girls at their Centre of Excellence. There has also been a push to accommodate all, with a fenced off area for those who wish to play separately.
A platform for talent
Qatar Women’s Sport Committee is dedicated to supporting and developing opportunities for women in sports. Committee President Lolwa Al Marri has a clear vision of the future of sport for women, she says, “the country is encouraging women to do sports, and after Qatar announced hosting all these major events it proved the love people here have for sport.”
Under the Qatar Olympic Committee, it has two main roles: working with national federations and the Qatar Olympic Committee to establish Olympic sports teams to represent Qatar, and to encourage participation through its various programmes for women of all ages.
Reaching the finish line
Mariam Farid is a Qatari track and field star. When she was just 16, she was part of the team bidding for Qatar to host the World Championships, one of the most important athletic competitions globally. “We need to have more women in the region to be inspired, to do whatever they love, to play sports and break the stereotype woman from the region,” she says.
Aiming for the sky
Reem Al-Sharshani started skeet shooting when she was just fifteen. Now in her 20s, she’s a World Cup Bronze medallist. Reem is part of the Qatar National Team with big goals for the future: “I want to be in the Olympics, to make my family proud and my country. That's one of my dreams, and to be a role model.”
Rowing for success
Tala Abujbara loves to be on the water. She was the first Qatari woman to compete in rowing at the 2020 Olympics in Japan, placing highly in the women’s single sculls.