Move is latest evidence of Gulf state's growing commitment to female sport
Qatar has launched its first ever Women’s Basketball League in Doha, with ten teams competing to become national champions.
The six-week event, which is being organised and managed by the Qatar Women Sport Committee, will see teams playing a series of group games during April and May, followed by a final stand-off during the first week of June.
Matches will take place at the Aspire Academy of Sports Excellence in Doha, and awards will given to the top teams as well as the best junior and senior players.
Organisers say they want to the event to become an annual fixture in the nation’s sports events calendar.
“The athletes competing in this event will provide inspiration to many more young girls in Qatar and throughout the Arab region,” said the president of the Qatar Women Sport Committee, Ahlam Salem Al-Mana.
“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's progress in promoting female sporting competition is in stark contrast to fellow Gulf nation Saudi Arabia, which recently confirmed that it would not be sending any women athletes to the London Olympic Games 2012.