The climate in the UAE is now getting hot but this hasn’t stopped Duplays from launching another football league.
Their latest is the Women’s Football 5s, to be held every Monday from May 9 to May 30 at the stunning air-conditioned Koora Dome at Al Wasl Club in Dubai.
As the UAE’s largest sport and social club with over 5,000 members, Duplays know a thing or two about sport. Their variety of leagues cover a range of sports including volleyball, cricket and badminton, which are hugely popular, and football is no different.
Following the success of their men’s game, their women’s events, launched in January, have already proved to be a big hit.
“This will be third edition since women’s football has been introduced to the Duplays schedule,” said Gareth Curtis, director of operations at Duplays. “Women’s football leagues are very rare in Dubai so this is a great opportunity for ladies who love playing the sport to get involved.”
Teams will play one match per week between 20:00 and 21:00 with the top two going head-tohead in the final week for the championship title.
Players must be 16 and over, with team entries priced at Dh1,500. Even if you don’t have a team, you can sign still up individually with entries costing Dh400.
“We realise that it can be quite difficult to form a team for a football league so we are also opening registrations for individuals to sign up,” said Curtis. “Once we have a finalised number of entries, we will then put those players into a team so they can play.
“Not only do they get a chance to be part of the league but it’s also a great way to meet new people.”
With a few days to go until the league begins, Curtis insists it’s one not to be missed.
“Football is very popular in the UAE but the women’s game is gradually growing and that was shown by how successful our previous two editions were,” he said. “The matches are played at the Koora Dome which is a state-of-the-art facility. It’s indoor meaning it’s air-conditioned which is a great plus given the weather temperature is now increasing in the UAE.
“It’s also played over four weeks, so it’s very short in duration. Most importantly it will be fun as it’s recreational level standard and we want as many ladies to sign up and be part of what will be an exciting league.”
WHAT: Women’s Football 5s
WHERE: Koora Dome, Al Wasl Club
WHEN: May 9 to May 30
CONTACT: For more information or to sign up, visit https://duplaysdubai.playpass.com
Providing quality multi-sport coaching is no easy task, but ISM Sports have figured out the formula with their all-encompassing approach in the UAE.
Not only do they offer “quality-over-quantity”, mainly focusing on football and tennis, they also have after-school programmes for nurseries, in-curricular teaching and fitness boot camps for ages as young as three and up to 45.
There’s no lack of coaching in the region across a multitude of different sports, but where Jo Terry, football coach and ISM (which stands for Inspire Sports Management) co-founder, believes his company stand out is in the dedication and enhanced focus on each area of its expertise.
“When you come to an ISM Sports session, the outlook is right from the start,” said Terry. “The planning and preparation for the whole term isn’t just off the cuff; we have a whole syllabus that we stick to. The standards I think compared to others are high.
“The three main things when you come to a session are one, it’s going to be professional from the start, two, the kids are going to enjoy it and three, hopefully we’ll look at the development of the player and they’ll gain improvement in every session.”
Terry began the venture with his business partner Sam Whitaker in September 2014. ISM originally started small with one venue in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi, but it has since grown to include Dubai International Academy (DIA), Horizon School, Safa Community School, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Radisson Blu on Yas Island and Yas Island Rotana, along with a handful of nurseries.
The staff has also expanded to six full-time members, many of whom boast plenty of experience as former athletes in their own right.
While Whitaker was already an established tennis coach, Terry was a PE teacher with a good reputation, which allowed him to bring some of the kids he had been teaching over to ISM. He’s now been working with some of those same kids for five years.
“We knew the demand for afterschool sports is huge in Dubai and a lot of parents are working very long hours and don’t have the time to take their children out to local parks and such,” Terry said. “So we offer that opportunity for kids to play two or three times per week and do a lot of different sports.”
Though the new term began in mid-April, children can still get involved by attending the communal sessions at Safa Community School on Mondays and Tuesdays from 16:30 to 17:30, as well as at DIA from 08:30 to 09:30 on Friday mornings.
For adults, the fitness boot camps take place on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Safa Park from 08:00 to 09:00.
For more information about ISM Sports, including details on their full range of activities and upcoming events, visit www.ismsports.org or contact 050 519 3899.
What: ISM Sports
Founded: September 2014
Geared towards: Football, tennis, swimming and fitness enthusiasts
When & where: Operating daily at various locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Contact & info: Visit www. ismsports.org and www. facebook.com/ismsports for more information
The series concluder was scheduled to take place on April 15, but due to inclement weather, organisers Race ME Events decided to prioritise the safety of athletes and staff and call it off.
But the show will go on with the race rescheduled for Saturday, April 30 at the District One cycling and running tracks, giving participants the chance to finish off the series in style.
As it is the last race of the season, double points will be on offer which means there’s still time to improve your standing.
Several distances are available for athletes of all ages, ability and level of experience.
The youngest of youngsters, up to age six, can take part in the shortest distance featuring a 200m run, a 1,500m cycle and a 200m run to finish.
Kids up to the age of 12 can go for the 400m run, 8.5 kilometre bike ride and a 400m run.
The intermediate distance is perfect for tweens and teens, aged 10 to 14, which consists of a 1.5km run, a 16.5km bike and a 1.5km run.
Adults above the age of 15 can choose from either the full distance – a 3km run, a 24.75km cycle and a 3km run – or the 1.5x full distance – a 4.5km run, a 41.25km bike ride and a 4.5km run.
Double points are only up for grabs in the long course option, while the shorter course will accrue standard points.
Athletes can also opt to do the full distance as a team in pairs of two – all-male, all-female or mixed.
Each participant’s four best races out of the six will go towards their points tally.
A prize giving ceremony will be held following the final event and will award trophies for first, second and third place in each category of each age group.
Registration is open until the day before the race, Friday, April 29, and can be done through www.premieronline.com. Included in the entry are a medal, goody bag and refreshments.
Don’t miss out on the last chance to take part in the popular series and secure points towards earning prizes.
What: Giant Duathlon Series race six
Where: District One cycling and running tracks, Dubai
When: Saturday, April 30 with registration closing on Friday, April 29
Contact: Visit www.premieronline.com to sign up and www.race-me-events.com for more information