Players of Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy and Saudi Arabia’s Noura Club in action during their match.
UAE’s Sharjah Women’s Sports team and Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) team won their opening matches as the inaugural FBMA GCC Volleyball Cup for Ladies tournament got underway on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
At the Jiu-Jitsu Arena, Sharjah Women’s Sports team overcame Kuwait’s Salwa Al Sabah while FBMA team beat Saudi Noura Club (KSA) on the first day of the six-team tournament, which also features UAE’s Al Wasl Club and Bahrain Club.
In the tournament opener, Sharjah Women’s Sports team put on a commanding display, recovering from 5-0 down in the third set to defeat a spirited Kuwaiti side Salwa Al Sabah 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 26-24).
Sharjah coach Naima Benameur was pleased to see her side get off to a winning start.
She said: “Winning our game was a great way to start the tournament. Even though I felt the performance could have been better, I’m proud of the way my team played given it was the first game.
“Since this is a good opportunity to gain experience, I chose a young team as I wanted them to understand the pressure of playing in a tournament as this will help them in their development. As the tournament progresses, I will include my experienced players as they are also vital players in my squad and can pass on their knowledge to the younger players,” she added.
In the other match, FBMA team got their campaign off to a perfect start, coming out on top to win 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20) against Saudi Noura Club.
Mouza Al Hammadi of FBMA team, who featured in the triumph, said: “We would like to dedicate this victory to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation. It was a difficult game and we had to be at the top of our game and we have been able to win this game thanks to the support of FBMA and our families.
“This will give us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the tournament and hope we can get more positive results.”
The matches were witnessed by a live audience which included representatives from participating clubs, UAE federations and sports clubs as well as Dr Soad Mohamed Al Suwaidi, from Khalifa Educational Awards.
The staging of the tournament is part of FBMA’s on-going efforts to develop and nurture local talent, providing regular opportunities for females to gain competitive experience and live a healthy lifestyle.
Amal Al Afifi, FBMA Board Member said: “As an organisation that is dedicated to promoting and facilitating women’s sports in the UAE and across the GCC, the FBMA GCC Volleyball Cup for Ladies is another event that reflects our vision of hosting regional sporting events by providing a platform for females to not only get involved in playing sport but also test themselves in a competitive environment.
“The matches that we saw today were of the highest standard and it is a joy to see 72 volleyball players from six teams across the GCC be part of this inaugural edition where we hope their participation will help the sport grow as well as inspiring the younger generation.”
The six teams have been divided into two groups. Salwa Al Sabah, Bahrain Club and Sharjah Women’s Sports Team are in Group A while Group B consists of Al Wasl Club, Saudi Noura Club and FBMA Team.
The GCC Volleyball Cup for Ladies will continue until Aug.31 with the group stages being played through Sunday.