Young Saudi women aim big socre with fair play initiative

April 19, 2013

Jeddah United team – Al Riyadh

More than 200 young Saudi women took their fight against fanaticism to a basketball court, organising a tournament and promoting the values of tolerance, mutual acceptance and fair play.

“We wanted to highlight the No to Fanaticism Message after we noted how tension in sports was marring the spirit and ethics of games and competitions,” Leena Khalid Al Maeena, the organiser of the event, said.

“We drew our idea from the Saying of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) about true brotherhood and how Muslims should not hurt others verbally or physically. We have noted terrible phenomena in stadiums where players and spectators engage in unacceptable practices despite repeated calls by sports authorities to uphold and respect fair play,” Leena who also heads the Jeddah United team, said, quoted by Saudi daily Al Riyadh on Sunday.

The movement to launch the tournament meant to turn weak attitudes into positive challenges to all forms of fanaticism, she said. “We have had 15 teams compete in the tournament to consecrate the noble spirit of healthy competitions and mutual acceptance,” Leena said.

Most online comments supported the initiative, although several bloggers insisted on the need for the players to dress “modestly”.

Opportunities for women to engage in sports activities are limited in the Saudi kingdom, but several initiatives have been launched to boost them in line with a series of political empowerment measures that included this year nominating 30 women to the 150-seat Consultative Council. Women are expected to vote and run in the next municipal elections.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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