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Exhibition blending fashion and sport a winner with Saudi women

Illustration advertising the SELF Show at the Inaya Medical College in Riyadh. (Twitter)
RIYADH: Saudi women who want to match fitness with fashion will see the latest in sports and gym wear at a special exhibition — and then take part in free exercise classes.
The Sports Exhibition for Ladies Fashion (SELF) at Inaya Medical College will display workout clothing for activities ranging from yoga to kickboxing.
“Every exercise needs a different kind of clothing,” said Reham, the event organizer. “For example, aerobics is different from light weightlifting. We will provide appropriate clothing for women and give them accurate information regarding all aspects of exercise.”
Ibrahim Bahathaq, general manager of the exhibition, wants to expand women’s choice of fitness attire and sports activities in the Kingdom.
“My daughter and wife are extremely fit — they love to exercise — but for a long time we had difficulties in finding appropriate clothing. The selections available at the stores were limited, as well as their choices. We either bought their gym clothes from abroad or online,” he said.
Bahathaq said SELF will raise awareness of the importance of exercise and open new doors for women.
The exhibition will offer family entertainment, including paintball and other children’s activities, leaving women free to take part in classes and workshops. At least 35 instructors will offer free classes, ranging from Zumba to yoga, throughout the day.
Exhibition organizers have urged schools to take part in the event. Field trips will allow students to receive the latest in sports and exercise advice.
Zia, a sports fashion line, is one of the main sponsors. Raneem Al-Zainy, a salesperson, said: “Zia is a local Saudi brand designed by Saudi fitness instructors who wanted both high-quality fitness wear and something fashionable.”
Entry to the exhibition and all classes is free. The exhibition will run until Feb. 9.

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