Doha, Apr 28 (Xinhua-ANI): In an effort to support women's sports the first ever Qatar Women's Basketball League got off the ground in bid city Doha with 10 teams fighting for the chance to become national champions.
"It is great to see the establishment of the Qatar Women's Basketball League and that so many women of all ages are showing the passion to participate in sport," said Doha 2020 CEO Noora Al Mannai.
"National sporting competitions such as this league highlight that there is a great interest in Qatar to play sport and we are delighted to be able to create these new sporting opportunities for women.
"The female athletes competing in the league are wonderful role models for young people and we can show that sport can help break down barriers, empower women and promote healthy and active lifestyles. I wish all the athletes competing in the event the best of luck and I hope one day they can realize their dreams to play at an Olympic Games in front of cheering fans in their home city of Doha."
The Qatar Women's Basketball League is a six-week event taking place at the state-of-the-art Aspire Academy of Sports Excellence in Doha and involves series of teams battling it out in group games to the final. The competition finals will take place on June 2 to decide the national winners.
Ahlam Salem M. Al-Mana, head of the Qatar Women's Sport Committee, said, "We are very pleased to launch the first-ever Qatar Women's Basketball League and we want to ensure that this event becomes an annual fixture in the nation's ever expanding sports events calendar.
"Following Qatar's participation in the women's basketball competition at the 2011 Arab Games in Doha, the Qatar Women's Basketball League reaffirms the nation's commitment to developing women's sport across the country.
"The athletes competing in this event will provide inspiration to many more young girls in Qatar and throughout the Arab region. With the progress we are making in the development of women's sport in Qatar, we are confident that this latest initiative will help a new generation of female athletes compete at an international level and ultimately become Olympians in many sporting disciplines."
Qatar this year will send the first female athletes to the Olympic Games and is in the process of fostering their participation.
Doha is in the bidding against Baku, Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic Games. The final decision will be taken on September 7th of 2013 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Xinhua-ANI)
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