Dania Akeel to become the first Saudi female rider holding FIA license

Dania Akeel, after receiving her competition license, announced that the UAE National SportsBike Super Series will be her first competition. (Supplied)
Updated 19 November 2019

Dania Akeel to become the first Saudi female rider holding FIA license

  • Akeel set to receive license for Speed Bikes Competition

JEDDAH: Dania Akeel is set to become the first Saudi female to receive her Speed Bikes Competition license after applying through the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation.

The General Sports Authority and the Saudi Arabian Motorsports Federation have been supporting Saudi athletes through special programs held to attract young people and develop their sporting experiences.

Akeel, after receiving her competition license, announced that the UAE National SportsBike Super Series will be her first competition, taking place in Dubai Autodrome. She will be riding a Ducati 899.

“I am very grateful to God for the opportunities that have transpired for me to be able to race in the upcoming UAE National Sportbike Super Series organized by Furiosa Racing.”

She added: “I would like to thank the Saudi Arabian Motorsports Federation for aproviding me with the utmost support in obtaining the license. Their methodology has been extremely efficient and helpful. I would also like to thank the Emirates Motorsport Organization and Furiosa Racing for their support and effort in guiding me through this process.”

The UAE National SportsBike Super Series grid will host the competition between more than 15 racers for five consecutive rounds. 

Akeel has been practicing with professional racers, including national champions, to sharpen her skills.


NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

Updated 12 July 2020

NBA star LeBron James opts out of wearing social justice message on Lakers jersey

  • ‘It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal’
  • But Lakers star still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others

LOS ANGELES: NBA superstar LeBron James said Saturday he would opt out of wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey because it doesn’t “resonate with his mission.”
James, who has often spoken out against racism and police brutality in America, is passing on the NBA’s plan to help bring attention to racial inequality by having players wear messages like “I Can’t Breathe” instead of their family names.
“I didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” the Los Angeles Lakers forward James said Saturday. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players.”
“I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It is just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
James says he wishes he had had some input into the jersey change.
“I would have loved to have a say on what would have went on the back of the jersey. I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process which is OK.”
“I don’t need to have something on the back of the jersey for people to understand my mission and what I’m about and what I am here to do.”
The vast majority of NBA players have decided to pick a social justice message when play resumes in Orlando, Florida.
James is one of just about 17 players out of 285 so far who have opted to continue using their family names on the back of their uniforms.
The list of suggested messages, agreed on by the players union and NBA owners and then made available to players, includes “I Can’t Breathe,” which is what George Floyd said more than 20 times before he died with a white police officer kneeling on his neck.
Other messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
James said even though he isn’t taking part in the jersey messages, he is still working behind the scenes to improve the lives of others, especially people in the Black community.
“Being able to use my platform, use the NBA’s platform, to continue to talk about what’s going on. Because I will not stop until I see real change for us in Black America, for African Americans, for people of color. And I also believe I can do both, though.”
James said he always expected to play in the restart to the season: “I am here for one goal and one goal only and that is to win a championship.”