Why young Saudis are getting their skates on

07/09/20

Raeah Al-Attas considers it a duty to promote the sport. (Photo/Supplied)

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia in bid to develop Yemen sports sector

24/08/20

The plan is to renovate the hall and provide it with the latest sports equipment. (SPA)

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

Time: 04 August, 2020

Malak Al-Shaya says when in the ice rink everything feels ‘magical’ around her. (Photo/Supplied)
  • The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova

JEDDAH: A Saudi teen who picked up ice skating three years ago at a friend’s birthday party is now dreaming of taking part in the Olympic Games.

“It all started at my friend’s birthday party three years ago where we ice skated and I fell in love with the sport. I started going every day after that. My mom signed me up for classes when she saw my love for the sport,” Malak Al-Shaya told Arab News.
She said: “My mom was the one that encouraged me. At that birthday party, my mom and the coach said I was a natural because I just went for it.”
She came 4th at the Houston Invitational 2020 in March. She said that she will work harder next year to win first place.
The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova who inspired her and even to get to the Olympics.
“I’ll work on ice and off ice. I want to be like Alexandra Trusova, who makes it look so elegant,” she said.

Gliding on the ice, Al-Shaya said she feels like everything is “magical.”
The young figure skater is aware that the sport is not the most popular in the Kingdom, but she encourages those wishing to master it.
“Just go for it. If you are willing to work hard you can achieve anything,” she said.
She has received a lot of encouragement on social media to pursue her passion in figure skating.
Al-Shaya’s mother, Eman Al-Damegh, shared her daughter’s love story. “At that birthday party, it was the first time Malak ever ice skated. After that, my kids used to ask me to take them ice skating every day,” she said.

FASTFACT

• Malak Al-Shaya won 4th place at the Houston Invitational 2020.

• Al-Shaya started ice skating three years ago.

• The teen’s coach says her speed is impressive, and it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is naturally able to control comfortably.

She said that her daughter came from a background, which lacked the facilities for the sport, but was “a natural” straightaway.
“She had never been ice skating before, she started it at such a young age. We used to live in Qassim where there were no ice skating arenas at all,” said Al-Damegh.
She added: “The moment Malak set foot inside the rink, she just took off. I was so surprised, she didn’t hesitate at all, she was so daring that day. And there I was wondering what would happen on ice (before she started).”
According to her proud mother, Al-Shaya has all the capabilities required for this sport and possesses the sense of daringness that skating requires.
The teen’s coach told Al-Damegh that her daughter’s speed was impressive, adding that it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is “naturally able to control comfortably.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 participants to benefit from wide range of incentives

Time: 09 July, 2020

The Mini of Carlos Sainz crests a dune during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, January 16, 2020. (AP Photo)
  • Competitors will benefit from a 50 percent discount on registration fees and free fuel throughout the race
  • Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 will see the debut of Dakar Classic, a new category for vehicles that were designed before 2000 and previously competed in Dakar

RIYADH: New additions and benefits await participants in Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 as the Kingdom steps up preparations for its second edition of the world’s most challenging race, which runs from Jan. 3 to 15.

The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation recently opened registration for pilots and their teams.

Competitors will benefit from a 50 percent discount on registration fees and free fuel throughout the race.

Insurance coverage upgrades and attractive registration fees in the SSV category are also among the numerous incentives.

There will also be technical support at the Dakar Service Center, where pilots can benefit from tire services provided by BFGoodrich, oil analysis at Motul and exclusive merchandise at DExT.

The countdown to Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 started last month when organizers unveiled initial details about the new route, which will begin and end in Jeddah. A rest day is scheduled for Jan. 9 in Hail.

The official announcement also featured the new technical additions and safety regulations that will be introduced in the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally.

Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 will see the debut of Dakar Classic, a new category for vehicles that were designed before 2000 and previously competed in Dakar, as well as vintage cars and trucks.

New regulations will include handing out the road book just 10 minutes before the start of the race stages.

Competitors will also receive aural warnings as they approach danger zones to keep them alert and maximize their safety

The inaugural edition of Dakar Saudi Arabia saw 563 pilots from 68 countries register to compete in five categories across 7,500 km of unique terrain throughout the Kingdom’s uncharted desert.

The Dakar Rally is being staged in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year as part of a 10-year agreement between the Kingdom and the Amaury Sport Organisation.

This article was first published in Arab News

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