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.

 

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan