qatar’s only woman golfer
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

Yasmin al-Sharshani

Qatar’s only woman golfer

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Qatar’s only woman golfer

Yasmin al-Sharshani
London - Horia El Hadad

Yasmin al-Sharshani London - Horia El Hadad Ever since Yasmin al-Sharshani picked up golf clubs during a family holiday to Egypt a number of years ago, the Qatari national has dedicated her life to the sport, and in the process, has become the only professional female golf player in Qatar’s National Golf team. The 25 year old sports science graduate is one of a growing number of female professional sports players in the Arab world.  She is also the President of Qatar's Golf for Women and has represented her country in numerous championships around the world.  Last year, Yasmin represented Qatar at the Arab Golf Championships in Morocco and was the only Qatari female golfer to participate in The Arab Games in Doha last year.  Arabstoday caught up with Yasmin during a photography exhibition in London dedicated to Arab women in sport, which featured her. She spoke to us about what it feels like to represent her nation, how her family supports her and what the future looks like for many Arab women sports stars. Arabstoday: Golf is traditionally a male dominated sport.  What attracted you to it in the first place? Yasmin al-Sharshani: I have a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education so I am very interested in the sport.  The first time I tried golf was in Egypt so when I came back to Qatar I thought: “why can’t I visit the Doha Golf club here?”  I visited the club and they made me feel welcome. I tried it for about one week.  It was difficult to get used to holding the clus but after that I began to love the game. AT: Is golf a popular sport in Qatar? YS: Not really.  I am the first and only female golfer in Qatar, but God willing we will try to get involved with the media to raise awareness about the sport because it’s still a very uncommon sport.  Golf is not only uncommon in Qatar though, it is not widely played across the Arab world but hopefully in time that will change. AT: Is your family supportive of your career? YS: Of course. My mother always comes with me everywhere.  She also accompanied me to an exhibition here in London at Sotheby’s gallery about Arab women in Sport so I am very grateful for her support.  She is also very sporty and exercises every day.  If any woman is interested in sport she will support them.  For example, my sister Reem is also a sports player.  She’s won the Women’s Junior Shooting Skeet.  We also have two nephews who are into sport.  One is 6 years old and he does gymnastics.  My other nephew does the trampoline.  Also, I would like to thank the Qatar Olympics federation and Sheikh Saud who have really supported Qatari women in sports.  Qatar itself has been very progressive in this respect so I’m grateful to my country. AT: As you mentioned you are featured in a photography exhibition by famous portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe.  Why do you think exhibitions like these are important? YS: They are extremely important, especially as it was organised during the London 2012 Olympics.   Some people wonder how an Arab women, who is covered and Muslim, is allowed or able to compete in sport.  But when they come to the exhibition and see all these Arab women taking part in their respective sports, it surprises them and convinces them that Arab women can do it. AT: Do you feel that wearing the hijab hinders you in any way? YS: No, absolutely not.  But when I play I am not wearing my normal hijab on my head.  I have a special one made of nylon and it stretches.  It doesn’t affect my game in any way. AT: What is the future of Arab women in sports? YS: We can see the future now at this year’s Olympics.  Just look at all the Arab women competitors who are taking part.  God willing in the future, after a few years, I believe there will be even more Arab women sports professionals and the quality will improve.

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