Without limits: Qatari women take to extreme air sports – Doha News


WATCH: In the Qatari extreme sports world, few women challenge stereotypes. Doha News caught up with the daring athletes to find out more about their passions.

Putting the word “extreme” before sport often conjures up images of daredevil men skiing through an avalanche, or male athletes sliding through narrow gaps in a canyon. In Qatar, a small handful of women dare to paint a newer and more inclusive image of the outside.rest of the sport.

Hessa Albinali

From paragliding to microlight flying and skydiving, these women know no bounds – literally. Doha News spoke to some of the biggest names in women’s extreme air sports right here in Qatar, for an exclusive glimpse into their lives and travels.

That Reem Alkuthairi, one of the first to obtain a ULM license in Doha and the first to register in the UK as a Qatari ULM pilot where she obtained her license.

A Qatar University graduate in Sports Science and Physical Education, it’s clear that her love of sport even permeated her education. For her, the excitement of paragliding for the first time in France ignited something deep that made her thirsty for more.

“I love adventures and got attached to the flight and the feeling that goes with it, so I wanted to dig deeper into air sports,” she said, noting that her first experience had prompted her to try others. aerial activities. Quite quickly, she was introduced to ULM flight and finally received her license.

Supported by her father from a young age, Alkuthairi grew up fearlessly, always wanting to try different things and striving to be as physically adventurous as possible.

“My father didn’t want us to be afraid. Whenever we were afraid of something, he always encouraged us to do it.

The young athlete, who expected to face a backlash from society to get into extreme sport, was pleasantly surprised to find that she was rather overwhelmed with support from family and friends.

For Alkuthairi, the hope is to inspire young girls to follow in his footsteps fearlessly, both from the people on the ground or by taking the literal sense of faith from heaven. In fact, she encourages both sexes to try everything to leave space to discover their passions in life.

Aljawhara Alhitmi

However, “every sport has its risks”, warns the ULM pilot.

But like any sports enthusiast, Alkuthairi knows how to protect himself and is well aware of the risks of microlight piloting.

“I know my plane and its limits, so I’m not going to go beyond that and enter a danger zone,” she said.

Like Alkuthairi, a paragliding experience in the air also opened doors for another extreme sports athlete.

Hessa Albinali is a paramotor pilot and graduated from Qatar University with a degree Away from Sport – Business and Marketing.

Albinali was ready to give up her dreams of playing extreme sports until finally a club she felt was made to quench her thirst for open sport right here in Qatar. In the blink of an eye, she signed up and quickly found herself training in the sky.

“On my first solo trip, the trainer was talking to me wirelessly, saying ‘congratulations Hessa, you are the first Qatari woman to be a paramotor pilot,’ said the ambitious pilot.

These few words, combined with the thrilling adrenaline of the flight, inspired the young Qatari to take it to the next level. Soon she found herself engaging in several training sessions and in July 2020, she too officially received her license.

For Aljawhara Alhitmi, being a business and marketing specialist was not enough. Throughout her studies, she excelled as a gymnast, winning awards and medals in various competitions over the years.

On her 25th birthday, her sisters surprised her with a trip to Skydive Qatar and a chance to jump with an instructor.

“It was a childhood dream for me to become a skydiver, but I never thought that dream would come true.”

The birthday experience changed everything.

Full of hope and excitement, Alhitmi finally realized her dream was achievable and enrolled in the skydiving center. “When you are in a free fall, it’s a feeling that can’t be described,” she said.

In 2019, she became fully licensed to parachute with the full support of her sisters who gave her her first chance at the sport. However, some of his family were hesitant.

Reem alkuthairi

“My mom was a bit against it at first, but then when I showed her my videos, my photos, and shared my daily adventures, she became very supportive, which is the most important thing to me.”

Now seasoned in the skies of Qatar, the parachutist has her eyes riveted on different scenes. Alhitmi has put together a list of 10 countries where she would like to experience from above.

When asked what advice she would give to other young women, Alhitmi aptly quoted renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh: “I always tell them ‘I would die of passion rather than boredom.'”

For the full interviews and to see the air sports athletes in action, watch our video.

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