What’s On meets The Courts to hear about their new women and children fitness facility in Abu Dhabi, and getting girls involved with sports.

Emiratis Mariam Al Omaira and Amna Al Mansoori are keen to get girls in Abu Dhabi into sport. What’s On finds out about their plans to build a women-friendly gym and encourage kids to get active.

Tell us about your company.
MO: We aim to develop sports within the community through different pillars. Court 11 is a community outreach programme. That will include visits to hospitals and schools, to keep kids engaged in sports. Court 9 is all about products we design and create. We have T-shirts, notebooks, pencils and athletic wear that will be launched in 2016. Then we have Court Active, our fitness facility. We are still finalising the location, but look to launch between September and November.

What will be on offer at the gym?
AM: The facility will host fitness classes focused on body weight and strength training and is open to women and kids. There is also a multi-purpose court, where we want to focus on young kids from two to 12 years and introduce them to sports. And there will be a juice bar.
MO: A lot of gym facilities don’t allow kids under a certain age, so it is kind of an impediment to mothers. Our classes are all 30 minutes, as we know a lot of people don’t have time, so we want something doable and don’t want to give people excuses not to come.

The Courts - women and children fitness in Abu Dhabi

What obstacles have you faced when trying to encourage girls to get into sport?
MO: One of the funniest things we came across when we were hosting football classes was the girls were like ‘football is not for girls, we want to do ballet.’ So it is basically changing the mindset. There are a lot of stereotypes and basically what we are trying to do is show that it is okay to play football and be feminine at the same time.

How did you two meet?
AM: We met on the football pitch! We were playing against each other.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?
MO: Our aim is to build a sports culture in the UAE. We want to help the federations and help future national teams to recruit players. Our objective is to bridge the gap between raw talent and professionalism.

You both will be hosting a health talk at the Galleria on Al Maryah Island on Saturday 28, March. What tips can you give readers to lead a better lifestyle?
AM: Try to move for 20 or 30 minutes a day. Go in circles in the living room if you have to! Park a bit further and walk. Take a shopping basket, not a trolley. Take the stairs, not elevators or escalators.

Who do you support?
MO: Barcelona.
AM: Chelsea.

March 28
Spring Festival at The Galleria, Abu Dhabi Global Market Square, Abu Dhabi, 6pm. Tel: (02) 6166999. Taxi: Galleria on Maryah Island. thegalleria.ae