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Jordan’s Nassar wins Asia title at IOC Women and Sports awards

Date : 06 Oct 2018

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 6, 2018: Two-time Olympic swimmer Samar Nassar of Jordan won the continental trophy for Asia at the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sports awards ceremony at the Olympism In Action Forum.

Nassar, who took part in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, was declared the winner for Asia at a glittering ceremony in Buenos Aires for her pioneering work in various socially positive programmes, including establishing football programmes for Syrian refugee girls at the Zaatari camp in Jordan.

After retiring from her competitive swimming career, Nassar decided to remain involved in sport. As a board member of the Jordan National Olympic Committee (JOC) for four years she has been involved heavily in social programmes.

Following her time with the JOC, Nassar took the lead in organising Jordan’s successful bid to host the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup. She became CEO of the local Organising Committee for the World Cup, the region's first-ever mega sports event for women.

A host of events and programmes were organised to encourage young girls to take part in sport and improve their social situation. The “Live Your Goals” project in Jordan, for example, focused on grassroots development through a series of football festivals aimed at six to 14-year-old girls with the aim of improving their technical abilities. This programme reached out to 3,500 girls.

Nassar also initiated a public-school tournament for girls looking at expanding the reach of women’s football in Jordan at youth level. The tournament extended to 44 schools, 48 teachers and 460 girls in its first year.

Working in cooperation with several organisations including UN Women, the Asian Football Development Programme and FIFA, she has given fresh hope to young Syrian refugee girls, 300 of whom were invited to the opening and closing ceremonies of the U17 Women’s World Cup in order to inspire them to continue practising the sport.

Apart from Nassar, the other continental winners were former human rights lawyer from Kenya, Rachel Muthoga (Africa), former cross-country skier and Olympic champion from Canada, Chandra Crawford (America), an Olympic shooting champion, Lithuanian Daina Gudzineviciute (Europe), and women’s basketball pioneer in Australia, Lauren Jackson (Oceania).

The World Trophy was won by Turkish Eczacibasi Sports Club for being a sporting pioneer in its country. Founded in 1966, the club has since achieved near gender equality in its administration and development of women’s volleyball, and has won a record 28 national championships, World and European titles.

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