Yasmin Gahtani – the first Female rock climbing Instructor in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has witnessed a revolution in terms of women rights and day by day we see some interesting stories of Saudi women proving themselves to be strong and capable.

The women of Saudi Arabia have proved that the perception of them being soft and that they cannot reach high levels is wrong. Similar is the story of the first female Saudi certified rock-climbing instructor, Yasmin Gahtani.

Before rock climbing, Yasmin tried many different sports in the attempt of trying to get something more out of her life than the ordinary.

She was an extreme sports fanatic from the start and loved challenges, so she liked the idea of rock climbing after one of her friends’ suggested it to her. Gahtani says that she fell in love with the sport immediately.

So about five years ago Yasmin Gahtani started rock climbing and the starting was difficult. She had to learn how to trust her body while practicing the sport. The sport requires great strength and flexibility and Yasmin was no stranger to either of them.

But she always thought of herself as an insecure and self-conscious person, therefore, the trust part was a little difficult. As she started believing in herself, she settled in nicely and that is when she felt the adrenaline rush she had longed for.

Although everyone thinks that a sport such as rock climbing is only for the men, Gahtani proved everyone wrong, she excelled in the sport and once again proved the perception of people wrong. She proved that women of Saudi Arabia are strong and second to none.

Gahtani told her family and friends about practicing rock climbing, and they were all very supportive of her. Some people could hardly imagine a woman practicing such a sport but she gradually proved them wrong.

Soon Gahtani began to notice that the awareness of the sport had spread curiosity and excitement in the people around her. She, therefore, thought that she could make this sport even more recognizable and spread more awareness if she could become a certified instructor of rock climbing.

As said by Yasmin Gahtani, “After seeing how many Saudis were getting more and more curious about the sport that I was practicing, I started thinking about becoming a certified rock climbing instructor, to help greenhorns climb safely”   

Last year Yasmin Gahtani took her Climbing Wall instructor course in Chicago through the American Mountain Guides Association and became a certified instructor. She said that her parents supported her throughout.

She said that her parents were happy with her practicing the sport as it had a positive impact on her personality. The instructor further said that even her twin sons are practicing rock climbing and wish to become professionals.

Gahtani emphasized that she had no negative response from the people around her. In fact, everyone around her who came to know that she was practicing rock climbing applauded and supported her. She said Saudi Arabia has only shown her love and compassion throughout.

She said that she has been giving climbing courses to a good enough number of females which proves that the Saudi women are ready to engage in such sports to show that they are strong and can handle activities carried out in tough environments.

The sport combines physical and mental challenge which is great for the youth.  As Gahtani continues to improve her skills in rock climbing with the dream of taking part in the 2020 Tokyo Games where she can raise Saudi Arabia’s flag.

She hopes that the supportive General Sports authority backs the rock climbers and instructors of Saudi Arabia so that they could flourish.

She also said that Saudi Arabia has many good locations like Abha, Al-Ula, and Al-Baha which provide naturally perfect climbing walls, therefore, we need to make such places accessible for the sport to flourish.

Source: Arab News

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