Six-year-old Emirati gymnast Lamia Tariq Malallah Al Farsi is better known as the little wonder of the UAE, having recently won a gold medal at an International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament in Nice.
2017 has been good to the little wonder, who also won gold at the inaugural Emirates Cup for Rhythmic Gymnastics. Lamia Al Farsi is now gearing up for the RG Winter Cup in Leverkusen, Germany in December, the Asian Games 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics.
AlFarsi’s coach is retired Russian rhythmic gymnast and founder of Dubai Youth Olympic School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Ksenia Dzhalaganiya.
According to Dzhalaganiya, AlFarsi’s global acclaim paves the way for other Emirati girls and can encourage parents to see a future for their children in sports.
Her success on the local and global stage has already secured her a role as a brand influencer for the Dubai Women’s Run, scheduled for November 17.
Dubai-based Indian entrepreneur, Harmeek Singh is one of her biggest supporters. Singh is the founder and chairman of the Plan B Group and is also the chief strategist for the UAE Athletics Federation.
“The UAE has been my home for over 15 years and supporting Lamia’s upcoming career in sport is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community that has made this place a home for all of us,” he says.
“I saw great potential in her, and therefore chose to support and mentor her to offer the necessary support to witness exciting transformations on the road to success.”
One of the main objectives of the Athletics Federation is to promote an interest in sports and athleticism among UAE residents.
While AlFarsi stands out as a leading example for young girls in the region, but it hasn’t come easily for her. Training since she was five, AlFarsi goes to school full time while training 20 hours every week at the Dubai Youth Olympic School.
Understandably, her parents are her biggest fans and have helped AlFarsi pursue her dreams despite criticism from the wider family who took issue with the costumes and daring feats involved in the sport.
In an interview with the local media, AlFarsi’s mother, Malak, stressed the importance of fighting against gender stereotypes.
“My daughter will fight stereotypes. The Arab world is growing and the mentality is changing. And with our leadership’s support, women will continue growing and reach larger heights.”
“Recognising a child’s talent and encouraging them for it will allow them to grow into strong personalities that their country needs,” she says.
She acknowledges that Sometimes financial constraints can hold parents back from supporting their children. “Support in whatever way (you can)- whether through campaigns or awareness – will allow children to do much more and become active members of the community.”
Follow AlFarsi’s amazing journey via Instagram.