Lana Al Jaghbeer the first woman holding the position of Secretary General for the Jordan Olympic Committee, earned a BA in Physical Education from the University of Jordan and a Masters in Management of Sports Organizations from Lyon University in Paris. She was also the first woman representative for her country in the Beijing Olympics. Arab Woman Mag has the honor to place her among our inspirational women segment for this month.
Why did you choose the physical education field although usually it is far from many girls dreams?
It was not by chance that I went into this field, even as a child I had a passion for sports and used to take part in many different ones in school and university. And although my high school grade allowed me several options in various fields yet I went after my dream; although it might have seemed odd at that time especially that many view this field as not for women and doesn’t generate good income. I was blessed during my study years as I earned the attendance of many courses to add to my knowledge and expertise. During my university years I taught in the afternoons as a fitness trainer and was an international judge for the Jordanian Gymnastic Federation.
I started gradually, began at the very first step of the ladder, I believe that one should give his all to his work, and always keep self-developing. I always had the feeling that one day I would hold a leadership role. I started out as a fitness trainer and worked my way up until I earned the trust of His Highness Prince Faisal Bin Hussein the President of Jordan Olympic Committee and appointed me as Secretary General making me the first woman to hold such a position. I felt what a great responsibility this bestowed on me and although there were many challenges yet I was determined to succeed. With God’s grace I excelled not only as the first woman to hold such a role but as Secretary General to the JOC since 2008; I am known for my love of a challenge, and determination, and this is what I advise everyone around me to follow. My accomplishments: Chairperson of the Committee of Sports and women in Jordan and Council of Union for West Asia, a member of the Committee on Women in Sports and Olympic Council of Asia. I was also an International judge for the Gymnastics Federation of Jordan, and Head of the technical committee of the Arab Union of Gymnastics. I was a supervisor for the Arab Games in 2004 in Algeria. I manage the local women’s football team, and manage women’s sports groups in Amman Club, plus women’s sports teams in the Jordanian youth club.
With His Majesty’s Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein and Her Majesty Queen Rania’s continues support to help the Jordanian women be a proactive members of society many women have made big strides in advancing in various fields and holding several positions. Yet there are those who still do not believe that women are capable of filling such roles. As for me personally there where those who stood by me and others who went against me, but that even made me more driven to achieve further and prove that women are just as capable as a men. I didn’t put too much focus on that I preferred to keep my concentration and energy on my work and the importance of team spirit. With His Highness Prince Faisal Bin Hussein’s support and my colleagues we managed to stand out as an Olympic Committee. Additionally my father and husband’s support had the biggest impact to my success in my career journey.
On the contrary, sports are a means to emphasize femininity. Sports help in self-confidence and giving a healthy appearance, and there is a vast variety of sports to choose from, whether for leisure or competition and we see evidence of this from the many Jordanian women champions that we are so proud of.
What advice you give women that have the capability to excel in sports?
Follow your passion and don’t get discouraged when faced by obstacles, keep your self-confidence, faith, determination to reach your dreams.