Squash may seem simple enough as a game in which you hit a ball off the wall, but there’s far more that goes into being a top-notch player than meets the eye.
Few are more aware of what’s needed to be great at the sport than Hadrian Stiff, owner of Elite Squash and coach to some of the world’s best players. With plenty of experience under his belt, Stiff is the perfect tutor to learn the game from and the public will have the chance to get first-hand knowledge from the coach at Elite Squash UAE’s masterclass coaching camp.
To be held next month from June 9-10 at the Aviation Club in Dubai, the camp will offer the rare opportunity to receive training and advice from Stiff, as well as a seat to watch the PSA World Series Finals.
Two players to keep an eye on in the Dubai tournament next month are world No3 Mohamed El Shorbagy and world No5 Marwan El Shorbagy. The Egyptian brothers have taken the sport by storm, with Stiff having worked with them to maximise their talents.
That same type of professional coaching will be available at the masterclass camp, where players will learn about movement, technique and tactics through personal feedback and video tutorials.
Whether you’re someone wanting to take your skills to the next level, or just wanting to develop a foundation, the camp has you covered.
Participants can choose either one or both days, which will include lunch, dinner, a T-shirt and two sessions in which, for example, players will be coached on elements like ‘speed of movement and the art of relaxed efficiency’, or ‘skill development and the short game through grip sensation and feel’.
The camp is limited to eight players per day, so make sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible through www.elitesquash. ae. Participants can choose to pay either Dh1,000 per day for the camp alone, or Dh1,350 inclusive of a PSA World Series Finals ticket at Dubai Opera.
Squash fans would be remiss to not take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to up their game.
For cricketers in the UAE, here’s your chance to test yourself at Al Ain Cricket Club’s (AACC) Ramadan Cup and grab a slice of the Dh5,000 prize money.
To be held from June 8 to 16 at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, the 10-over tournament has already attracted a lot of interest and with registration closing on Saturday, May 27, there’s still time to sign up.
Since opening in 2016, the only way has been up for AACC and although the weather might well be getting warmer, organisers insist that shouldn’t pose a problem in making the competition a success.
“Cricket is a very famous sport that is widely played in the UAE,” said Afzal Pasha, cricket operations manager. “It’s the same in Al Ain but it’s just that the teams do not have enough facilities to play which means they would have to travel to other emirates to play in different venues and competitions.
“For example, we held a tournament, which was played with a tennis ball at the beginning of the month and we were amazed to have 15 teams from Al Ain and one from Dubai competing, so it shows that there’s interest. That’s why we are really excited about our Ramadan Cup.
“We’ve already started receiving registrations and hope we have 16 teams altogether.”
Matches will be played on an astro-synthetic pitch with a knock-out format. Players must be aged 16 and over with no more than 15 in a squad. Entry costs Dh1,000 per team with the champions winning Dh3,000, while the runners-up go home with Dh2,000.
Pasha is confident the Ramadan Cup will be a big success. “We at Al Ain Cricket Club want to promote and increase the popularity of the sport. We have the best facilities to all the cricket lovers and it’s a chance to experience our lush greens.
“We want to have more tournaments in this form as this is will help us to bring the community together and have fun with the game we love.”
He added: “Although it’s hot, the humidity is less and our club facilities are wonderful so families and friends can relax and enjoy the match as all the games are played under floodlights.”
WHAT: Ramadan Cup
WHERE: Al Ain Cricket Club at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club
WHEN: June 8 to 16
CONTACT: For more information, or to register, phone 03 702 6469 or visit www.aesgc.ae
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix might seem a long way off but now’s the time to take advantage of the early bird discount for tickets for the Formula One season-ending showpiece.
The glamourous and exhilarating motorsport spectacle returns to the capital from November 24 to 26, as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and the rest of the elite battle for top honours at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit.
Since it was introduced to the F1 calendar, Abu Dhabi has not failed to disappoint with each year raising the bar and if you want to see for yourself why it’s one of the most popular events in the country, then now’s the time to purchase tickets with up to 30 per cent off until May 31.
“Our ticket pricing structure allows our most loyal fans and those buying their tickets early to get the best discounts available,” said Nick McElwee, sales and marketing director at Yas Marina Circuit.
“With limited capacity, we know we are going to sell out, and what we try and do is increase the number of ticket purchases early on, this helps our event planning. “Part of the attraction of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the number of international fans, and this is also something that happens as a result of our early bird offers.”
Ticket prices start from Dh995 for a three-day Abu Dhabi Hill pass while Yas suites and Club lounge admission is also available. As the last race of the 2017 season, there could be all to play for.
Four-time champion Vettel seems to have rediscovered his best form with two victories at Ferrari, while Hamilton and his new Mercedes team mate Valterri Bottas have also topped the podium.
And there could be plenty of twists and turns by the time we reach Abu Dhabi.
Besides the action on the track, you will not be short of options for entertainment with after-race concerts also lined up.
“Of course, whatever happens with the F1 championship, it will always be high drama at the Abu Dhabi GP,” added McElwee.
“Not only do our fans get all the on-track action, but off-track they will get to experience A-list afterrace concerts, fantastic entertainment in our Oasis Areas, a ‘Kids Go Free’ offer this year on the Friday for the first time and finally, easy access to Yas Island entertainment including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas WaterWorld!”
He added: “We now have thousands of people attending the Abu Dhabi GP each year and this year we are on track to see 65 per cent of attendees being non-UAE residents. That is because we not only provide world-class motorsport action on track but great value entertainment off the track too.”