Budding young footballers can now learn to play the Manchester City way at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium as City Football Schools expand their coaching programme across the UAE.
The state-of-the-art Hazza, home of the Boss, one of the UAE’s most successful clubs, is the latest venue where children aged between three and 16, can develop their game.
Held every Monday and Wednesday, the sessions are built upon the philosophy and training programme of the Manchester City Academy back in England, offering both boys and girls the chance to improve their football skills, make new friends and have lots of fun, all under the guidance of fully qualified coaches.
Since launching, City Football School has gone from strength to strength in teaching the UAE’s stars of tomorrow and is now one of the top academies in the country.
Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane, who arrived at the Etihad Stadium last summer, has been thoroughly impressed with the coaching methods from grassroots at the club.
“Developing young players in the right way on and off the pitch is very important – and that is what Manchester City coaching is about,” said the 21-year-old.
“The coaching is the same all the way through the club and at coaching sessions in places such as Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.”
Various sessions are held on both days with the first for kids aged three and four, taking place between 16:00 and 16:45. For those aged five and six, their class is from 17:00 to 18:00, while children aged seven-10 is from 17:00 to 18:15.
The final session is held for 11-16 yearolds between 18:45 and 20:00. It will see them train on the very same pitch that is used by the professional players including UAE megastar and Boss star and reigning AFC Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman.
Mohamed Al Qadi, operations director at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, is thrilled Al Ain’s budding footballers will have a chance to train at the venue.
“There is a strong passion for football in Al Ain especially amongst the youth and we are happy to host the Manchester City professional coaches at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium,” he said.
“It provides an opportunity for the boys and girls in Al Ain to have fun and learn new football skills in the right way.”
Sessions cost Dh50 and people can register on the day or by emailing [email protected]
WHAT: City Football Schools in Al Ain
WHERE: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
WHEN: Mondays and Wednesdays, various times from 16:00
CONTACT: email [email protected]
Dubai Sports City is set to host a must-do community cycling event, with hundreds of families, first time and experienced cyclists preparing to take part in the ninth edition of The Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road.
The free event, which takes place on Friday, March 24, will see cyclists of all ages and abilities tackle three different routes and distances, with a 5km and 10km family ride and a more challenging 20km route on offer.
Each route offers participants a safe, off-road and traffic-free ride with a full support team on hand to manage the event.
With participation numbers growing since its launch in 2013, the event has now become a must-do cycling event for Dubai residents, families and keen cyclists alike. Over 6,000 people have now taken part in the ride since its inception.
Dubai Sports City president, Khalid Al Zarooni, himself a keen cyclist, said: “Since we started the event in 2013 cycling in this country has gone from strength to strength and I am delighted that The Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road has contributed to that growth, we’ve seen over 6,000 people already take part.”
“This year we have already witnessed the professionals ride through the streets of Dubai Sport City as part of the Dubai Tour and now it’s the community’s turn to get on their bikes and have a go.”
“The great thing about The Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road is that it creates an opportunity for those new to cycling, families and more experienced cyclists to all come together and enjoy an off-road cycling experience in a safe, secure environment. It’s truly an event for all the family.”
“Cycling is a huge part of Dubai Sports City’s philosophy and as part of that we want to encourage everyone to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle, this is why we are committed to developing sustainable initiatives like The Great Dubai Plus Ride where the whole community can get involved.”
As well as more than Dh10,000 in prizes on offer from Dubai Sports City and the Cycle Hub, those who are not cycling will also be able to join in the fun as there will be family-friendly activities taking place throughout the Sports Village.
With activities such as bouncy castles, kids’ art and crafts and a local market zone there is something for all the family to enjoy, whether cycling or supporting, making the eighth edition of The Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road an event not to be missed.
Registration can be completed through www.thecyclehub.com.
Entrants can also enter on the day at Dubai Sports City’s Sports Village from 07:00, with the event commencing at 08:00 at Sports Park, Dubai Sports City.
With schools set for spring break at the end of the month, parents will be looking for ways to keep their children active over the holidays.
Those planning to stay in town should look no further than Zayed Sports City’s (ZSC) camps.
Running from March 26-30 and April 2-6, there will no shortage of options for children at the capital venue.
ZSC’s Kids Holiday camp offers youngsters, aged 5-12, a variety of activities including bowling, ice skating, movies and arts and crafts.
At their Ice Skating camp, those aged five and above can learn the basics of the sport under the supervision of certified coaches. Based on their popular Learn to Skate programme, it will see them build their endurance, flexibility, coordination and balance techniques through off-ice and on-ice sessions.
There is also the brand new Kids Weekend club, which will run on Fridays and Saturdays from March 31 to April 29 between 11:00 and 17:00.
ZSC are no strangers to hosting camps with their previous editions proving hugely popular and this month’s will be no different.
“Every year we refine our camps based on customer feedback and experience and as a result we reach full capacity very quickly,” said Barry Bremner, general manager of ZSC.
“Spring is the busiest season for us and we are planning on a full programme for both ZSC Kids Holiday and ZSC Academy Ice Skating camps. These have been great initiatives for us and for the community.”
“Each camp has its own unique element that makes it stand out.”
“For ZSC Academy Ice Skating camp, it’s the only one of its kind in the capital. We have a 100 per cent improvement rate in the kids abilities and skills and every single camper is a better skater on Thursday than they were on Sunday thanks to our dedicated and well-qualified coaches.”
“For ZSC Kids Holiday camp, the biggest selling point is offering the longest camp at more than nine hours. It’s perfectly timed for working parents and busy families.”
The Kids Holiday camp runs from 08:30 to 17:30 and costs Dh1,000 per week with a 10 per cent discount for additional siblings.
The Ice Skating camp will be held from 09:00 to 13:00, priced at Dh750, while the Kids Weekend club is Dh200 per day or Dh300 for the weekend. Bremner says there are plenty of positives on why parents should enroll their children.
“It’s a fun and active day and this is really important. Our camp will ensure that they keep active throughout the day,” he said.