A challenge to inspire a level playing field

Dubai Ladies Club seek to empower women through exclusive triathlon

By Alaric GomesSenior Reporter
17:58 October 27, 2017
Dubai Women’s Triathlon
Dubai Women’s Triathlon
Dubai Women’s Triathlon

Dubai: The air is thick with a sense of expectation. Women’s sport is witnessing a new beginning having skirted the fringes for quite some time now.

If the Shaikha Hind Women’s Sports Tournament organised by the Dubai Women’s Sports Committee made an earnest start in this direction a few years back, next week’s inaugural edition of the Dubai Women’s Triathlon is expected to take things further.

It is with the intention of taking this next step that the Dubai Women’s Sports Committee of the DSC has joined with the Dubai Ladies Club (DLC) to host the unique event for women from the UAE and beyond on November 3.

Women of all nationalities aged 16 and above can register for the triathlon. The event has been divided into three categories, namely the Super Sprint (400m swim, 10km cycling and 2.5km run), the Sprint course (750m swim, 20km cycling and 5km run) and the Short course (1.5km swim, 30km cycling and 10km run).

The swimming leg of the triathlon will commence at the private beach adjoining Dubai Ladies Club, after which the participants will move for the cycling leg of the race starting in front of the club. The cycle route has been fixed for a straight loop on Jumeirah Road between the Union House Museum and Al Thanya Street with the finish line at the DLC.

The final leg of the triathlon will be the run, that will be held alongside the Dubai Water Canal. The race will finish at the Triathlon Village at the DLC premises.

“The primary objective before us in our first year of this event is to have a huge number of participants,” Lamia Abdul Aziz Khan, the deputy chairperson of the Women’s Sports Committee at DSC, DLC director and chairperson of the organising committee, told Gulf News.

“We are unique with this event in more ways than one. This is the first of its kind. Nowhere in the region has there been a triathlon that has been exclusively for women. The participants will have total privacy especially when they participate in the swimming round. This will give them a comfort zone.

“It is our first time ever and we need to make a definite impact that will focus the attention of the sporting world towards what we are doing. This is an event, made by women and prepared for women.”

Contributing to the goals of 2017 — the Year of Giving — all revenue from the Dubai Women’s Triathlon will be donated to Al Jalila Foundation’s iMcan programme to help provide disabled women with prosthetic limbs that will enable them to regain normal movement and pursue a more active lifestyle including sports and fitness activities.

“As much as want to be a destination for happy, healthy women, we also want to give something back to our community. We have always been encouraged to think outside the box, and this unique event is a result of this,” Khan said. “Besides creating an awareness and seeing an increase in the number of women involved in sport, the Dubai Women’s Triathlon will position Dubai in a unique manner.”

Leading up to the triathlon, the DLC organised a three-week training programme as part of its strategic partnership and its commitment to deliver world-class sports and fitness events that inspire women to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Held in collaboration with GroWings Coaching and Ana Gow Running Club, the triathlon camp offered participants a comprehensive training plan that included swimming, running and cycling in a safe, encouraging and fun environment.

“The training sessions too were unique as this is the first time that we are getting everyone involved, not just the athletes, get prepared for the big day,” Khan said. “Such has been the response that women from other Gulf countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have also confirmed for the main race.”

Much attention has been paid to creating a truly family-oriented event. A special Triathlon Village will be set up at the DLC so that the venue can double up as a converging point for the entire family. On offer at the village will be a variety of fun attractions such as an allocated children’s area, physical fitness classes and much more. Additionally, the village will also include a special allocated area for health, sports and well-being companies to display state-of-the-art health products, physical fitness equipment, and healthy nutrition for adults and juniors.

The Al Asalla Spa will also be offering a welcoming relaxation area which will include a selection of rejuvenating express massages and treatments. On the day, guests will also have the unique opportunity to avail special offers and discounts on DLC services and membership packages.

“This will be an event that will be remembered for a long time,” Khan said.

“We have been building an anticipation towards the triathlon, but the underlying current is that of empowerment and building up. There may be a lot of unasked questions, but once the event is delivered all of these will have been adequately answered.”