If you love watching figure skating on television, then you're in luck because an international competition is set to take place live on 22 and 23 January at Zayed Sports City Ice Rink.
An organisation that champions women's sports in the UAE, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) has teamed up with the UAE Ice Sport Federation to host the second annual Abu Dhabi FBMA Trophy.
As the governing body overseeing Olympic competition, the International Skating Union (ISU), is an international organisation with chapters in each member country. Skaters wishing to go to the Olympics compete at ISU sanctioned competitions such as this one to gain points towards qualification. The participating skaters are without a doubt eying a bid to the 2018 Olympic Games.
Among the competitors are four Emiratis, including the UAE's own Olympic hopeful, Zahra Lari. With 10 years of training at Zayed Sports City under her belt, Lari is ready to give it her all. When asked how she feels about competing here in Abu Dhabi, she replied: "It is very exciting. I feel pressure to perform well in front of my home crowd. At the same time, the event is being held at the rink where I practice every day so basically I am welcoming people from all over the world to my house. It is a real honour to host them. I hope all UAE citizens and residents will come to cheer at the event so we can show our famous Emirati hospitality to the world."
Roquiya Cochran, president of the FBMA organising committee and Figure Skating Manager for the UAE Ice Sport Federation says: "The competition is a big deal, as competitors are coming from a dozen countries to take part. The senior (those closest to going to the Olympics) division includes some terrific competitors. Other up-and-coming skaters will compete in age-related levels, from age 10 to in their 20s. We will see some spectacular skating. This is Abu Dhabi's opportunity to shine as the host. We are so grateful for the FBMA's strong support."
The FBMA Trophy will serve the dual-purpose of ISU competition as well as crowning the Emirati national champions in each category.
Admission to the event is completely free and the public is encouraged to attend. Spectators will be treated to high-level, inspiring performances. Cochran adds, "Figure skating is a relatively new sport in the UAE. We hope to inspire current and aspiring skaters to work hard. This is such a beautiful sport. There is something in it for everyone to appreciate."
In addition to the competitive performances, the event will conclude with a special show by international pairs division champions Yannick Bonheur and Annette Dytrt, plus other surprises throughout the days.
For more information contact 050 444 5009.