On The Radar is back to make sure you do not miss out on the UAE's best sporting events this week. There is the Dubai Football Challenge between AC Milan and Real Madrid at The Sevens Stadium, racing at Meydan and the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race in-port challenge to keep you from staying indoors over the New Year.
Tuesday, December 30
Dubai Football Challenge 2014: Real Madrid v AC Milan
Venue: The Sevens Stadium
Real Madrid and AC Milan are football teams synonymous with victory, fame and world class football skills. These two hugely popular teams will go against each other here in Dubai at the Sevens Stadium. Get ready for an intense match that will bring the year 2014 to an end in the most fantastic way possible.
Website: Sport360 Match Preview
Wednesday, December 31
Racing at Meydan
Venue: Meydan Racecourse
Meydan Racecourse will be offering an exciting array of races starting from November the 6th, 2014 all the way through to the 14th of February with Racing at Meydan. These races are considered a stepping stone into the premiere leagues such as the Dubai World Cup Carnival and ultimately the Dubai World Cup. It also gives local and regional talents a chance to show off their potential. A total of eight races will be held at different dates.
Website: Meydan Racecourse
Friday, January 02
Volvo Ocean Race In-port Race
Venue: Destination Village, Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi Stopover reaches a thrilling climax with exciting VOR fleet racing before the world's greatest ocean sailors set off for Leg 3 to Sanya, China. The last time the Race came to the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team won the In-port race. Having won the In-port race in Cape Town before sailing to Abu Dhabi, the home team will start as favourites to defend their title. There will be vibrant send-off parades featuring traditional ceremonies, musical and cultural performances to keep you, friends and family entertained.
The popular Daman Hercules Trophy returns to Dubai in February and the organisers are urging corporates not to miss out on this fantastic and exciting event.
With challenges that range from the bizarre to the extreme – and all in the name of fun and corporate team-building – businesses throughout the UAE will be putting staff to the ultimate test at 7he Sevens Stadium, Dubai on February 7.
Since being founded in Belgium 15 years ago, the event has grown from strength to strength mixing staff team-building with corporate networking.
And since its launch in Dubai four years ago, the Daman Hercules Trophy has established itself as an important date in many company diaries. Organisers are hoping 140 businesses across the UAE can take part but the battle for corporate pride and glory will be tougher than ever. No athletic skills are required and anybody in the company can participate.
The idea of the event is built around companies of no more than seven people per team, battling it out in ‘12 labours of Hercules’ – disciplines not normally associated with a traditional sporting challenge.
But added to the pressure is the CEO challenge – where companies select two members of senior management to compete in a game of petanque, a version of bowls that is popular in France. Executives can earn extra points for their team by doing well, so it is always a tense affair.
Among the labour activities participants have to face are bubble soccer, disc golf and flipit along with eliminator, fencing, kart building, cyclokarts and cross country. And the ever popular cross country is back again for this year but it is not a simple cross country run, but more about climbing inflatables and ‘running’ through water.
Cross country is the only discipline to have featured at every Hercules Trophy event worldwide since the concept was launched.
“It’s all about having fun,” said Inge Van Belle, CSO of Hercules Trophy, Dubai. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re athletic or otherwise, tall or small, young or old – Hercules Trophy has something for everyone. Nor does it matter whether you’re the chief executive or a new recruit – you’re all in there, and battling it out in the name of company honour.
“It’s a great way of bonding, having fun, and then, at the end of it all, mixing with rival teams, and networking in a totally different, and informal environment to what you would normally expect.” Companies interested in taking part should contact Simon Reece- Burton at [email protected] hercules-trophy.com
What: Daman Hercules Trophy 2015
Where: 7he Sevens Stadium, Dubai
When: February 7, 2015
Contact: Visit www.herculestrophy. com or email [email protected] hercules-trophy.com.
The Mirdif Milers on their website claim to be “possibly the most unique running club in the UAE”.
Malcolm Gatenby, the club’s co-founder, says the slogan is meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but that it also is a claim with some merit.
The long-distance running club, now celebrating 10 years of existence, are hard to miss with their neon yellow kits and their social attitude.
Predominantly all Mirdif-based, the Milers have 35 to 40 regular members. With the change of demographics in the region, many of the members are young, single expats who hold jobs as teachers, for example.
The Milers have plenty of runners now, but that wasn’t always the case, especially at the start.
“We were basically a group of expats, three or four people, running around Mirdif because it’s a natural 10 kilometre loop,” said Gatenby.
“Then it just grew and grew with people joining us on our Monday night runs. Then we started adding Saturday morning runs mainly as training for the Dubai Marathon and half marathon.
"We grew further about six years ago when we had 27 of our runners do the marathon. So we built upon there.”
“We were always known as the marathon-training club. We were more focused on the longer distances.”
Marathons are the Milers’ bread-and-butter. They take a group of 10 to 12 runners overseas and have done marathons in places like Munich, Istanbul and Athens.
Locally, they run year-round with the season stretching from September to April. Many of the events, however, are bunched during November, December and January and that’s when clubs across the UAE come together. The club’s main event, the Donut 10 on November 21, was sold out and saw 450 runners take part.
“In marathons, we still have our inter-team battles,” Gatenby said. “All the clubs here, we all have good runners and we have friendly rivalries.”
The Milers encourage anyone interested in joining to come to their weekly runs. Even though some fitness is required, the club will help shape into a better runner.
“Obviously there’s a group of us out running, so you should be reasonably fit, but we do build people up,” said Gatenby. “We train people and we encourage them and last year we had three new runners who did the marathon for the first time ever and they ran with us all through the 16-week running plan.”
Gatenby, who did his first marathon seven years ago, has now done 19 and attributes his drive to running with the Milers.
“I would recommend it to anybody,” said Gatenby. “You’ve got to be motivated to do it but it’s a lot of stopping and giving up because you’re on your own,” said Gatenby.
“Everyone runs together, pace together and it’s good because you’re running with people you’re going to race with.”