LAUSANNE, Switzerland – As the Seventh Arab Bowling Championships returned last Saturday to its inaugurate host city of Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the women bowling community took the opportunity to unite behind the Olympic dream in 2020. Currently, World Bowling has put together an international campaign for its quest to be part of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. As a rising sport and one of the most practiced sports in Asia, bowling is currently sweeping across all Arab nations. This is the seventh edition of the Arab Bowling Championships, and the third time with a women’s event, reflecting increasing interest of women’s participation from Arab nations within the sport.
Bandar Al-Shafi, Secretary General of the Qatar Bowling Federation, says, “Bowling is one of the most accessible sports for both genders in the world, especially in the Middle East. The sport continues to grow at a very high pace in the Gulf Region, especially in the women's division in which more investments are being made. This is very encouraging!”
These new investments are already delivering results. In this year’s Arab Championships, nearly 43 percent of the total field consist of women, making this the highest female participation in the event’s history. World Bowling is delighted by this growth with President, Kevin Dornberger, saying, “Bowling has transformed over the past few years. Participation keeps growing, especially in the Middle East, and especially among women. The sport is becoming gender-equal. If bowling was to become an Olympic sport in 2020, the sport would gain even more awareness, which would motivate young girls from the Middle East and everywhere else in the world to get involved in sports and to dream of representing their country in the Olympics.”
Bahrain athlete and Multi-time gold medalist in the Arab Championships, Nadia Alawadhi, stated that, “The sport of bowling has provided many of the women from the Arab countries a positive and competitive outlet. It is an incredible honor for me to represent and win medals for my country in this competition, which is the top level of competition in the region. However, the greatest honor for me would be to have the chance to represent my country in the Olympic Games. I have competed with many women from war-torn countries. Bowling has provided these women with the opportunity to reconnect with society and provide a positive outlook on life. It is a game that most Arab women can play and a sport that we feel proud to represent our countries in.”
Bowling is one of the only sports that can bring young women and girls to practice physical activity in the Middle East. The inclusion of the sport in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 would only increase this participation even more, and could become a catalyst to have more active women in the Gulf Region.
For information on the Arab Championships please see arabbowling.com