An inspiring role

September 22 - September 28, 2021
Gulf Weekly An inspiring role
Gulf Weekly An inspiring role
Gulf Weekly An inspiring role
Gulf Weekly An inspiring role

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Bahraini basketballer Fatima Reyadh is living out her hoop dreams as she becomes the first female assistant coach assigned to help improve the men’s team of an award-winning club.

The athletic 32-year-old is thrilled to work alongside head coach of Al Najma Club, Raoof Abbas Hubail, and hopes her appointment will not only make the team stronger but also inspire other women from across the kingdom to follow their sporting dreams.

“This feels amazing and I am proud to be in this position,” said Reyadh from Hamad Town.

“When I first got the call from Al Najma Club, I thought they were offering me a job with the U17 and U21 boys because that’s my field of experience. I was asked if I was willing to work with the first team. I was shocked for a second and then I grabbed the opportunity!

“I hope my role will inspire other females. Nothing can stop us from achieving our dreams. We just need to work hard. It’s not easy as it sounds especially being a single mum, a student and a coach at the same time. Never let anyone stop you from becoming what you want and it all pays off in the end.”

Sport is in Reyadh’s blood, having watched her mum Sameera Assiri coach the ladies national team when she was a child.

“I used to go with her to all her practice sessions, so as long as I can remember basketball was there,” added the head coach of the Applied Science University men’s basketball team, who has been coaching them since 2018. “I started playing basketball in elementary school and my mum is my inspiration.”

From 2016 to 2019, she was the assistant coach for the national women’s basketball team. In between that time, she was also the assistant coach for the women’s national team’s 3-on-3, the assistant coach for the Al Hala Basketball Club men’s U18 and U21, the head coach for the Isa Town Basketball Club Ladies team and the coach for the Ministry of Education/basketball school academies. In 2021, she was also the assistant coach of Ahli Club’s men’s U18 and U21.

“What I hope to achieve from this role, aside from putting my skills and expertise to good use in helping improve the Al Najma team for the better, is to learn and improve myself,” added Reyadh. “With basketball, there is always something new to learn -- from information to strategy and tactics. I have to stay updated all the time as I want to be the head coach for a men’s team in the league someday. I am very grateful to Al Najma Club and Coach Raoof for this opportunity.”

Reyadh was also part of the first national swimming team and has a black belt in Taekwondo. She is now training for Ironman as she works on assisting the head coach of Al Najma Club for this season’s 2021-2022 Zain Bahrain Basketball League.

Al Najma is currently standing in fifth place in the preliminary ranking and will be facing Muharraq Club tomorrow at the Zain Arena at 7pm.

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