Going Out: Eight-week basketball camp for kids in Dubai

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Up for it: The camp will also have a mini-tournament and skills competition.

Fancy your kid being the next LeBron James or Stephen Curry? Then make sure you provide him with a strong foundation in basketball, according to CMP Sports who are offering an eight-week basketball camp for kids at Al Kuwaiti Intermediate School in Al Twar, Dubai.

“Learning the fundamentals of basketball like proper dribbling, accurate passing, effective shooting and executing good defence should begin at an early age so the kids will have a long-lasting appreciation of the game,” CMP Sports Director Chris Flores told Sport360.

“Our basketball clinic is open to anyone from five to 18 years and we will guide them all the way to reach their potential,” added Flores, who holds the record of highest individual score in local competitive basketball (93 points including 30 triples) in a game back in 2007.

Experienced hands: Officials Paul Esguerra (l), Director Chris Flores and Ric Roces at CMP Sports.

Experienced hands: Officials Paul Esguerra (l), Director Chris Flores and Ric Roces at CMP Sports.

CMP said they have a good line-up of experienced coaches. Leading the pool of mentors is Ric Roces, former Philippine National Youth Team coach.

Roces said he is happy to pass his knowledge of basketball to the younger generation. He is also hopeful that some of the kids will become varsity players in college to avail of scholarship or become professional players in the future.

“Lebron and Curry started playing basketball at a young age and they are now superstars because they have a very strong passion for the game,” said Roces.

“We will ensure that our students will have proper training, but more importantly, we will not just teach them the fundamentals of the sport but also develop their basic values such as discipline, sportsmanship and camaraderie through their interaction with their coaches and peers.”

CMP Sports will first conduct an evaluation of the participants to determine their level of basketball proficiency. Kids will then be divided into three categories – beginners (for first-time ballers); intermediate (for those who are already playing basketball) and advance (for those who are ready to take their game to a higher competitive level).

Aside from the drills, the participants will also have a mini-tournament and skills competition such as three-point shootout and dribbling contests.

The basketball camp will start on February 12 and will run for eight Fridays. The registration fee is Dh600, inclusive of complete basketball jersey. All sessions will be done in an indoor basketball court with proper equipment.

For more information, call Flores on 056 2305928 or visit cmpsports.org.

What: CMP Sports Basketball Clinic
When: Friday, February 12
Where: Al Kuwaiti Intermediate School in Al Twar, Dubai
Contact: Chris Flores (056 2305928/ [email protected])

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Club of the week: Dragon Warriors Dubai

Jay Asser 28/01/2016
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Rowing success: The DWD are regulars at the local dragon boat festivals.

Even if you can’t hear it, dragon boating’s drum beats are reaching a crescendo as the sport continues to become popular in the UAE.

Though dragon boating itself is believed to have originated in ancient China over 2,000 years ago, the sport has recently caught on in the emirates over the past half-decade, with the region now supporting dozens of teams.

One of those clubs, Dragon Warriors Dubai, has brought the distinctive and historic style of the Philippines to the Gulf.

Self-proclaimed as the biggest dragon boat club in the UAE with 126 members, Dragon Warriors Dubai have been one of the sport’s leading outfits in the country.

The club started in 2011 when former Philippine national team member Nerza Del Rosario was encouraged to introduce the region to the Asian strokes used back in her home.

Del Rosario gathered fellow Filipinos with dragon boat backgrounds, as well as paddlers from Canada and Australia to form Dragon Warriors Dubai. Though the club is predominantly Filipino, their nationalities include Indian, Pakistani and British and they welcome everyone.

Dragon boating may not be a first love for many athletes, but it can grow on you, as it did for Del Rosario, who made the jump from swimming at her university to the women’s national team at the age of 17.

“Well, I love watersports. Secondly, dragon boat is a team sport and is fun,” said Del Rosario, coach of Dragon Warriors Dubai.

“Compared to individual sports, it’s a synchronised sport. You have to be one with the entire boat and with the 22 crew members – 20 paddlers, one drummer and one steersperson.

It’s also really fun and it’s a noisy sport. You have to be one with the beat of the drum. Then you have to follow the steersperson, who dictates the pace of the boat, how it changes and how it transitions. So the adrenaline is really high.”

For as much as she loves dragon boating, even Del Rosario will admit that sticking solely to one sport can be “boring”.

That’s why you’ll find members of Dragon Warriors Dubai engaged in a range of other sports and fitness activities, such as swimming, running, cycling, frisbee and more.

“In any sport, you need endurance and stamina,” said Del Rosario.

“Part of our training is to actually run and a lot of members are doing marathons. That got people starting to do triathlons also.

“Swimming of course is part of our training too because paddlers should be able to swim 100m. From there, people like to try aquathlons.

We were cross-training on that level and then we started doing biking and the triathlons.”

Though training can be just as rewarding as what the club accomplish in the water, Dragon Warriors Dubai do have aspirations to make waves in international competition.

Growing in stature: The Dragon Warriors club comprises 126 members.

Growing in stature: The Dragon Warriors club comprises 126 members.

The club has qualified for the Club Crew World Championships, held in Adelaide, Australia from March 30 to April 7, as they look to
build off their first appearance in the event two years ago in Italy.

“It was the first time for the team and we did well, reaching the finals,” Del Rosario said.

“We really had a good fight. Everyone was a first-timer for the team to compete on that level, so for us we were very happy. This time, we are aiming for the podium for the women’s crew.”

Locally, the club compete in various events like the Dubai Creek Dragon Boat Festival and Shangri-La Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat
Festival.

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Ironman 70.3 Dubai to start-off at Jumeirah Public Beach in Dubai

Jay Asser 28/01/2016
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Big gun: German Jan Fredeno, a Beijing Olympics gold medallist.

The iconic Burj Al Arab will serve as the picturesque background for international triathlon stars and local athletes when they compete in the Ironman 70.3 Dubai this weekend.

Challengers will take to Jumeirah public beach for the inaugural race tomorrow (Friday), with more than 1,200 athletes already set to take part.

The race will start with a 1.9km swim along the beach near the Burj Al Arab before transitioning to the 90km bike course and then finally a three-loop run spanning 21.1km along the beach.

With the cycling venturing into the Arabian Dunes and consisting of a 45km flat road, it could be one of the fastest Ironman 70.3 bike courses on the circuit.

With the event offering 30 qualifying slots for the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Australia, athletes will be keen to have a good showing.

The two biggest names in the field will be in action in the pro race, featuring Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf.

Frodeno, who captured gold in the men’s triathlon at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, became the first triathlete to earn both top honours in that event and win the Ironman World Championship in October, 2015.

Following a successful year for the German, the man they call ‘Frodo’ is gearing up for another run, beginning in Dubai.

“It’s super early in the year and this race I’m using as motivation to get out of the winter break,” said Frodeno.

“It’s been a tough few weeks and I don’t necessarily think it will reflect on my findings yet, but I’m still looking forward to racing and getting out there every day.

“I think it’s great that this region is very keen on promoting a healthy lifestyle and exercising. Sports provide not only an opportunity to get fit, but for integration, which is a big topic in a multicultural city such as Dubai.

“I’m just glad to be here and help get people active and coming out to race themselves.”

Ryf, meanwhile, is coming off winning the million dollar prize at the Nasser Bin Hamed Triple Crown series to cap a magical year.

“I’m really excited to be back here,” the Swiss 2014 and 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Champion said.

“It’s been 11 months since I’ve been here and it’s quite amazing what happened in those 11 months. It was a year I could never dream of.

“It’s not only the team spirit that’s really growing here, but the vision of His Highness Sheikh Nasser that we’re trying to give the people, to motivate people to get active.”

For those still wanting to enter the race, late registration can be done online or onsite today from 09:00 to 17:00. The entry fee is $400 for individuals and $500 for relay. To sign up and for more information, visit eu.ironman.com.

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