First Published: 2013-06-03

 

Saudi Arabia inaugurates first sports complex for women

 

Complex, where women can engage in sports such as karate, practise yoga or attend fitness classes, is Kingdom’s first sporting centre for women.

 

Middle East Online

Saudi women who trained abroad have been recruited

RIYADH- The first sports complex for women in Saudi Arabia has opened in the east of the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom, the daily newspaper Al-Watan reported on Monday.

The paper said businesswomen and women personalities attended the inauguration of the centre in Al-Khobar province after it was given the go-ahead by the authorities.

Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict interpretation of Islamic or sharia law, bans men and women mixing in public and access for women in public areas.

Al-Watan said the complex, where women can engage in sports such as karate, practise yoga or attend fitness classes, is the country's first sporting centre for women.

The centre's director, Hanaa Al-Zuhair, said Saudi women who trained abroad -- including a karate black belt -- have been recruited to run courses at the centre.

Before the centre opened, women's sport in the kingdom had been virtually non-existent, although some young girls do take part in sporting activities at private schools under certain conditions.

Last year, Riyadh came under international pressure to allow two female athletes to compete in the Olympic Games in London.

The International Olympic Committee allowed a judo player and a runner to take part with their heads and body covered, in compliance with sharia law.

On May 19, 25-year-old Raha Moharrak became the first Saudi woman -- and the youngest Arab -- to conquer Everest, the world's highest mountain.

 

Huthi seditious plans come out in open: Capture of government HQ in Sanaa

Bloody attack strikes outside Egypt Foreign Ministry in Cairo

Erdogan confesses: Turkey held ‘diplomatic negotiations’ with Islamic State

Pope denounces Islamic State: Religion cannot be used to justify violence!

Islamisation of education system prompts alarm in secular Turkey

UN warns over 'forcible transfer' of Palestinian Bedouin

Syria denies use of chlorine chemicals

Court verdict paves way for release of activist Mahienour el-Massry

IS fighters lay siege to Syria Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab

Israel steps up cyber-defense with new national body

Egypt military aircraft crashes after technical failure

Solution according to Huthis: Deal in Saada and battles in Sanaa

Mediators denounce ‘senseless fighting’ in South Sudan

Tunisia jihadist group offers backing to Islamic State

US Secretary of State sees role for Iran in war against Islamic State

Kurds cross from Turkey to fight Islamic State in Syria

Yemen suspends flights for second day as truce talks collapse

Turkey loses only excuse for appeasement with Islamic State

Marzouki seeks to stay as Tunisia President

Neighbourhood in Iraq’s Dhuluiyah stands against jihadists

British photographer Cantlie twice held hostage by IS

Turkey opens border to desperate Syrian Kurds

Jihadists to change tactics to avoid air strikes

Iran, six powers return to negotiating table

Saudi Arabia to restore Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque

Airlines suspend flights to Sanaa for 24 hours

US accuses Assad of breaking pact on chemical weapons

‘Concerned’ US urges Iran to cooperate in UN nuclear probe

Syrian children given anaesthesia not measles vaccination

France ready to provide ‘aerial support’ in Iraq

Tunisia denies existence of plot to assassinate Beji Caid Essebsi

Majority of Americans believe Obama mishandled terror threats

‘Islamic State’ releases video of captive British journalist

Libya cannot take more than 10 ministers

France approves bill to crack down on jihadists

Assassination of Libya ex-air force chief in Benghazi

14 Bahraini Shiites sentenced to life in prison for bombing

IS jihadists close in on Syria third largest Kurdish town

Yemen rebels clash with Sunni Islamists

New Turkish safety law costs 5,000 coal miners jobs

Bahrain slams Qatar for offering citizenship to Sunni nationals

Libya PM presents new cabinet in Tobruk

US House gives green light to plan to arm Syria rebels

Davutoglu denounces ruling against Turkey’s religion courses

South Sudan to revoke expulsion of foreign workers