Going Out: Boost your skills in the Futsal 5’s tournament

Denzil Pinto 21/05/2015
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Technically minded: futsal.

More than 20 teams have signed up for the Futsal 5’s Academies Invitational tournament and if you want to join them then make sure you register before 18:00 on Thursday.

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Open to football clubs and academies in the UAE, Friday’s event, which consists of two age groups U-8 and U-10 (boys), will see promising youngsters compete for honours at Fitness First Meadows, Sports Zone Arena in Dubai.

The players will get to showcase and develop their skills in becoming a better footballer in futsal – a sport which is fast growing around the world.

Having originated in Brazil in the 1930s, futsal has become hugely popular in developing players’ skills and abilities, and is now played in many countries including Spain and Portugal.

While it is not as popular as football in the UAE, despite its similarities, Sports Management Solutions, organisers of the tournament, believes there are a lot of gains for those players who take part.

“We want to help promote futsal in the UAE,” said Faris Al-Mudaffer, managing director of Sports Management Solutions. “It’s a very utilised method of teaching kids of improving their technical skills.

“It’s very highly rated in many countries around the world, most notably in Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Portugal and if you look at their countries they produce very good technical skilled players.

“A lot of this is to do with that futsal is part of their programme and you can see that with the number of quality players they produce. There are a lot of talented footballers in the UAE and I believe that any young player will learn a lot from just taking part.”

It is no surprise that some of the top football clubs and academies in the UAE have already signed up for the first edition of the tournament and Al-Mudaffer is delighted with the number of entries so far.

“We’ve had a great number of teams signed up which is great since it’s our first tournament,” he said.

Team entries cost Dh450 with seven players in each squad. While matches last 12 minutes each, the tournament will consist of round-robin games and knock-out stages.

And to make the matches more exciting, there will be a number of rule changes.

“Obviously the rules are different from football, so we don’t want to introduce many rules because a lot of them will not be familiar to them,” said Al-Mudaffer.

“The Under-8s will play with Size 3 ball and the Under-10s with Size 4. And goalkeepers will be allowed to throw the ball under arm. I think the most exciting feature is that when the matches are tied, instead of a penalty shootout, players will have to dribble with the ball from the half way line and score a goal within five seconds.” 

Prizes will be awarded to the top three sides, while one footballer will go home with the MVP award. Al-Mudaffer promises it will be a tournament to remember.

He said: “It’s a really ideal game to play because players will get more touches of the ball. It’s an important part of any development for a footballer.”

Next Friday will see the U-12 and U-15 categories take place with registration still open.

VENUE: Fitness First Meadows, Sports Zone Arena, Dubai
WHAT: Futsal 5’s Academies Invitational
WHEN: Friday from 14:00
Sport360 VERDICT: A great chance for budding footballers to develop their skills in a competitive tournament.
CONTACT: To register or for more information email [email protected]. Registration for U-8 and U-10 groups ends Thursday at 18:00.

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Going Out: Take in the sights of the Al Gaffal Dhow Race

Jay Asser 21/05/2015
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Inspiring sight: Dhow racing.

Tradition returns to the UAE as the Al Gaffal Dhow Race is set to take place this weekend to excite spectators and honour the nation’s rich history.

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Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the 2015 sailing race will feature 100 traditional Dhow boats, measuring 60 feet each, on Saturday off Sir Bu Nuair Island.

The race is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance, and under the organising of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC).

Spectators can secure their spot to witness one of the UAE’s oldest sporting events by purchasing tickets to watch on board the Dubai Ferry.

The rides include food and beverages and will coincide with the running of the race. The Public Transport Agency, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that tickets will be available to anyone interested in watching.

Dr Yousef Al Ali, chief executive officer of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, said: “We are keen on taking part in a variety of community-oriented social, economic and sports events in general and traditional initiatives in particular as they offer a chance to revive our glorious past and reflect the attention paid by our ancestors to marine life, fishing and pearl diving in the Gulf region.

“Our participation in Al Gaffal race for the third year in a row is intended to revive this sort of traditional marine contests and educate the new generations about the practice. The race is intended to showcase sailing boats measuring less than 60 feet in length which were used in fishing and transporting goods.

“It depicts the history of the UAE and how the life of its people was linked to the sea which offered them a safe refuge and a source for earning their living.”

Dhow boats date back in the UAE’s heritage as they were used as fishing vessels for pearl diving. Sir Bu Nuair Island has a rich history as the stopover for pearl merchants headed for Dubai after long trips at sea. The island’s route for pearl divers was named ‘Al Gaffal’, which means ‘closure’, and is the inspiration of the annual race.

The race first took place on May 23, 1991, when 53 dhow boats took to the waters. There were no 60- foot dhows, however, and the race consisted of smaller boats. That changed in the transition year of 1993 when 60-foot dhows competed alongside 43-foot dhows.

Since 1994, only 60-foot dhows take part in the race. Al Gaffal’s growth and development led to the Traditional Dhow Sailing Championship being split into three categories – the 22-foot championship, the 43-foot championship and the 60-foot championship.

The 60-foot dhows are now 14 feet in width, 4.6 feet in depth, have open weight and a mandatory two oars per boat. The assembly point for the Dubai Ferry is at the Dubai Marina Mall, where travellers will be picked up and dropped off.

The race offers beautiful scenery.

The boats will set sail off Sir Bu Nuair Island at 05:35, pass by Moon Island as the checkpoint and finish at picturesque Burj Al Arab.

The winning boat will be the one which reaches the finish line first. Please note that weather conditions could change the schedule of the race.

To purchase your tickets and for more information, call the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing at 600 555559, or DIMC at 04 399 5777.

The price for the ferry ride last year was Dh250 per person for silver class and Dh375 for gold class. Get a taste of the country’s heritage and experience the majestic boats up close at the Al Gaffal Dhow Race.

WHAT: Al Gaffal Dhow Race
VENUE: Off Sir Bu Nuair Island and finishing at Burj Al Arab
WHEN: Saturday, May 23 from 05:35
Sport360 VERDICT: Connect with the UAE’s roots and traditions by checking out beautiful dhow boats in action this weekend. The views of the boats on the water will be well worth it.
CONTACT: Call 600 555559 or 04 399 5777 to inquire about tickets and visit www.dimc.ae for more information.

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Going Out: Reboot for fitness at Jump Boxx

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Variety: Jump Boxx.

Bouncing on a trampoline for the first time in a while can be surreal. You feel younger, more energetic and free in an instance. Mix these emotions with a workout and you have a unique training session that allows participants to have a fun but challenging workout.

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This is exactly what Jump Boxx have created when launching their Reboot Fitness Trampoline Classes in Uptown Mirdiff Mall.

Reboot Fitness is a full body workout class that allows you to jump, fly, and spin while strengthening your core, toning your muscles and burning calories.

Studies show that an hour of jumping on a trampoline burns up to 1,000 calories. Ian, an Irish fitness fanatic that has run marathons before, loves the Reboot classes and initially didn’t expect it to be so exhausting:

“The class is fantastic but pretty tough. I find Reboot a great way to get back into exercise because trampolines are very forgiving and the trainers are pushing you to your maximum,” he said.

“There’s a huge variety in the workouts. It’s not just legs, it’s a combination of everything. The whole class is a lot harder than it looks or sounds because it is all about rhythm, skill and momentum – and not about strength.

“It takes a while to get into it but once you get there you feel an awful lot better. It feels like you have mastered a sport. I would recommend it to anybody.”

Reboot Fitness was already a huge success in the UK before coming out to Dubai because the staff at Jump Boxx believe fitness and fun should go hand in hand.

The Head Coach at Reboot Fitness, Sam Knill, who is also a qualified personal trainer, feels that once people start coming along to the class they will definitely want to return for more.

“We are just trying to create a fun environment to workout in,” Sam said. “There’s no chance anybody’s going to stop moving because as soon as they get on that trampoline, they are going to be bouncing constantly. As long as we can keep them moving and we keep them smiling, everybody’s happy.” 

If you are interested in trying out the Reboot Fitness Class you can have a trial session free of charge. Just visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/jumpboxxuae) to claim the offer. Otherwise, a minimum of five sessions is priced at Dh 399, 10 sessions for Dh699 and 20 sessions for Dh999. 

One of Reboot’s longest serving member’s, Chazwin, knows you won’t regret attempting the class.

“If you are looking to feel better about yourself, get up in the morning and have a great day ahead of you, come to Jump Boxx’s ‘Reboot Fitness’.”

What: Jump Boxx Reboot Fitness Trampoline Classes
Where: Uptown Mirdiff Mall, opposite the food court
When: Sundays & Mondays: 8pm Wednesday & Fridays: 8.30am
Contact No: 04 288 5744.

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