Saudi mom-of-2 aiming high as Kingdom’s 1st female skier

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Sharifa Al-Sudairi hit the headlines after successfully competing in the recent Ski Dubai event. Supplied
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Sharifa Al-Sudairi hit the headlines after successfully competing in the recent Ski Dubai event. Supplied
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Updated 08 January 2023
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Saudi mom-of-2 aiming high as Kingdom’s 1st female skier

Riyadh: A Saudi mom-of-two has been getting a piste of the action as the first woman to represent the Kingdom in skiing.

Sharifa Al-Sudairi hit the headlines after successfully competing in the recent Ski Dubai event.

The Jeddah-born 35-year-old found herself up against 25 top skiers from around the world in the competition but still managed to secure second, fourth, and fifth places in different categories.

She is among a growing band of Saudi sporting talents making a name for themselves as part of the Kingdom’s push to promote sport for all, host major international events, and compete on the global stage.

Brought up in the Red Sea port city, Al-Sudairi went to a boarding school in Switzerland and attended universities in London where she gained a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s degree in art and business.




Sharifa Al-Sudairi during her recent participation in the Ski Dubai event.

Supported by her family in her dream to become a top skier, she told Arab News that her father had always encouraged her to be sporty and independent.

She said: “I have always enjoyed being active and have taken part in many different sports while growing up including tennis, basketball, surfing and, of course, skiing.”

Al-Sudairi learned to ski at a young age while on family holidays in Switzerland, and she now considers her participation in the sport more as a passion than a career.

“Skiing for me encompasses all of the things that make me happy; you get to be active and healthy, while in the majesty of nature.

“Skiing on beautiful white slopes in incredible surroundings reminds me how dramatic and wonderful Earth is.

“But what started as a hobby and favorite pastime, evolved into me taking this on professionally,” she added.




Al-Sudairi won fourth and fifth place in the general races and also managed to get second place in one of the categories.

She was able to further develop her skills through training sessions with several race instructors at Swiss ski resorts and was recently introduced to the president of the Saudi Winter Sports Federation, Ahmad Al-Tabbaa, and the organization’s vice president, Rabab Mahassen, who provided support and encouraged her to join the Saudi ski team.

The Ski Dubai tournament was Al-Sudairi’s first official competition success having previously raced and won in smaller community events in Switzerland.

She said: “I won fourth and fifth place in the general races and also managed to get second place in one of the categories.”

The competition was organized by the UAE’s Ski Federation and the International Ski and Snowboard Federation, the world’s leading governing body for the sport.

“Given my love for my country and for skiing and all the support from the federation, I decided to pursue this on a professional basis,” she added.




The Saudi Winter Sports Federation provided support to Al-Sudairi and encouraged her to join the Saudi ski team.

Al-Sudairi said she was proud and honored to be the first Saudi woman to represent the Kingdom in Alpine skiing, describing it as a way to serve her country in times of positive change.

“It also means I get to play a role, among other incredible women that I admire, in being part of a movement that puts women at center stage in Saudi Arabia.

“This will hopefully encourage a whole new generation of women in the country to achieve their full potential and follow their dreams,” she added.

And she hopes to be a source of inspiration for others to follow their ambitions.

“I think this is an incredible moment in Saudi history and for me, especially in the field of sports.

“I am thrilled to see the many sporting events that the country has been hosting; we have seen an increase in interest in sports among Saudi citizens and especially among youth,” she said.


Day 3 of Fencing World Championships sees new champions

Vctorious women’s under-20 foil team was honored during the ongoing event in Riyadh. SPA
Updated 7 min 15 sec ago
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Day 3 of Fencing World Championships sees new champions

  • The American team dominated the men’s under-20 foil team

Riyadh: Abdullah Al-Sunaid, CEO of the 2024 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships, crowned the victorious women’s under-20 foil team during the ongoing event in Riyadh. 

The Japanese team emerged triumphant, securing the gold medal after a thrilling victory over Italy, who won silver. The Republic of Korea claimed the bronze, with France also clinching bronze and securing the third position in the intense competitions held at the King Saud University Sports Arena.

In the men’s events, Mohammed Chaouchi, president of the Tunisian Fencing Federation, honored the winners of the third day. The American team dominated the men’s under-20 foil team, seizing the gold medal by defeating Italy, who took silver. Japan secured the bronze, while France also claimed the bronze and secured the third spot on the podium.


Vibrant Sajah Bazaar, live music as Eid meets golf to entertain 2024 Saudi Open fans

Updated 13 April 2024
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Vibrant Sajah Bazaar, live music as Eid meets golf to entertain 2024 Saudi Open fans

  • Sajah Bazaar to headline 2024 Saudi Open fan zone at Riyadh Golf Club
  • Fan zone will provide food, drinks from around the world

RIYADH: Visitors to this year’s Saudi Open golf tournament will also be able to enjoy live music and fireworks at the Riyadh Golf Club.
The four-day championship starts on Wednesday and as well as top-class sport promises plenty of family fun.
LIV Golf captain Henrik Stenson will headline the field, which also includes some of the leading players on the Asian Tour, like last year’s Saudi Open winner Denwit Boriboonsub.
Each day of the tournament, from 4-11 p.m., visitors will be able to visit the Sajah Bazaar where they can buy local goods like textiles and jewelry.
There will also be lots to do in the fan zone, including golf driving and putting challenges, Panna soccer, Teqball, food and drink from around the world and a children’s area.
There are also some great prizes up for grabs, with Al-Rajhi Takaful donating 50 car insurance vouchers worth SR1,000 ($267), while two lucky ticket holders will see their general admission tickets upgraded to hospitality tickets and get the chance to watch world class golf from the best seats in the house.
Two winners will be randomly selected daily, while each person who takes a photo of a golfer on the Al-Rajhi teebox and posts it to social media with #Golf&More will be entered into the prize draw to win car insurance.
The fan zone opens on Wednesday and Thursday from 1-11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.


ICRF concludes participation in SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in Birmingham

Updated 12 April 2024
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ICRF concludes participation in SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit in Birmingham

  • Federation was seeking to promote camel sports globally
  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports and chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, visited pavilion

RIYADH: The International Camel Racing Federation has concluded its participation in the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit that took place in Birmingham from April 7-11.
The ICRF was seeking to promote camel sports around the world by being present at the event.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the minister of sports and chairman of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, visited the federation’s pavilion on Tuesday, where he received an award that was presented to the SOPC.
Prince Fahad bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, ICRF’s president and SOPC’s vice president; Dr. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee; and Robin Mitchell, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, were present at the award presentation.
Prince Fahad said: “We are pleased with what the federation’s pavilion presented at this summit, which around 1,500 leaders and key decision-makers from over 120 international federations attended.”
Participation at the event helped publicize camel sports which, according to the ICRF’s president, have a large role in Saudi culture and are a big part of the nation’s identity.
Prince Fahad added: “The federation’s goal through this participation was to shed light on the sport of our fathers and ancestors, which Arab countries have known since ancient times until it became part of their societies.”


World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

Updated 11 April 2024
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World Fencing Championship for youngsters starts in Riyadh on Friday

  • Competition begins with foil fencing for participants under 20 years
  • 54 referees from around the world will officiate

RIYADH: The Cadet and Junior World Fencing Championship begins on Friday in the Arena Hall at King Saud University, Riyadh.
More than 1,700 fencers from more than 100 countries will be participating at the event, which concludes on April 20.
The championship starts at 8 a.m. with foil fencing for participants under 20 years, while the opening ceremony is at 5 p.m. and includes players, referees, a visual presentation about fencing, and a parade of the teams’ flags.
WFC’s organizing committee began its preparations for the event by issuing visas; selecting 15 hotels for the delegations of the teams and committees in the international federation; and assigning 30 buses to transport players from the hotels to training venues and competition halls.
The committee has also prepared 60 courts to the highest standards to comply with the International Fencing Federation.
The event will be officiated by 54 referees from around the world.
The championship is expected to attract global attention and media coverage, and its prestige will help in the pursuit of achieving the goals of Vision 2030 that aim to transform Saudi Arabia into a global destination for hosting major competitions and events.
Attendance for spectators at the Arena Hall is free of charge.


Young Saudi athletes prepare for first Gulf Youth Games

Updated 09 April 2024
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Young Saudi athletes prepare for first Gulf Youth Games

  • 145 men and 33 women will represent the Kingdom in 20 sports at the event, hosted by the UAE between April 16 and May 2

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will be represented by 178 athletes when the first Gulf Youth Games gets underway this month. The UAE is hosting the inaugural event, which begins on April 16 and continues until May 2.
In total, 3,500 athletes representing Gulf Cooperation Council countries will compete for medals in 24 individual and team sports.
The Kingdom will be represented by 145 men and 33 women in 20 of those sports: handball, volleyball, basketball, athletics, swimming, judo, fencing, archery, cycling, badminton, billiards, karate, taekwondo, chess, jujitsu, boxing, equestrianism, golf, e-sports, and paralympic events.
The Saudi athletes are making their final preparations at internal and external training camps, officials said. This first-ever event of its kind in the Gulf region comes in the run-up to the 33rd Summer Olympics in Paris, which will begin on July 26.