Club of the Week: Try something different with Tri Dubai

Denzil Pinto 22/10/2015
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Over 4000 members: Tri Dubai.

You only have to look at their Facebook group and see how many members there are to realise Tri Dubai club’s popularity. That number currently sits at more than 4,000 and that is quite remarkable given the club was only launched in 2012.

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Started by Ian Le Pelley, Deirdre Casey and the late Roy Nasr, Tri Dubai is now one of the most popular triathlon clubs in the UAE.

Their members range from different age groups, with the youngest being 11 and their oldest in their mid-60s. It’s no surprise given that it’s completely free to join and anyone of any ability are welcome to sign up.

“I wouldn’t call Tri Dubai a club, I would rather call it a community,” said Paul Venn, communications officer of Tri Dubai. “It was set up to provide a platform for anyone to meet new people and engage and train with other like-minded individuals.”

Every week, the club attracts new members, who turn up for a number of their weekly sessions throughout Dubai. There are currently six sessions per week, but that usually increases.

“Anyone who is part of Tri Dubai can post on Facebook, saying they will be going for a swim or a bike ride and whether anyone would want to join them,” said Venn. “That results in more people taking part and we at Tri Dubai have no problem whatsoever. The most important thing is that we want people to do something active in their free time.”

He added: “I don’t have harbour ambitions to be a world record holder, I race and train because Tri Dubai has a fantastic community in getting everyone together.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve not swam, cycled or ran a long distance before, we are all in it together.”

A number of triathlon events are arranged throughout the year most notably next month’s Dubai International Triathlon to give members the exposure of competing in national competitions. But this hasn’t stopped members competing in events outside the UAE.

“We have a number of people who travel overseas,” said Venn. “There is a big triathlon in Bahrain coming up in December and there are 50 people already signed up which is great. I wouldn’t be surprised if 100 people of our members compete on that day.”

It’s because of that reason why Tri Dubai is a widely-recognised club around the world and even among professionals.

“Chris McCormack regularly races in the UAE and he is amazed by Tri Dubai. Everytime he comes to Dubai, he speaks incredibly of how good the club is and says there’s no club like this.”

While it is the start of the season, Venn insist it’s never to late to join.

“People get this impression that ‘it’s not for me and I’m not good enough’. Tri Dubai is all inclusive and whatever your age or background is, everyone is welcome.”

What: Tri Dubai
Founded: 2012
When & where: Various swim, cycle and run sessions throughout the week.
Contact & info: Visit www. tridubai.org. To sign up as a member to find latest news and training sessions, search ‘Tri Dubai’ on Facebook. Members wishing to attend sessions are advised to check the group as times and locations could change.

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Going Out: Watch the Rugby World Cup at Bidi Bondi

Denzil Pinto 18/10/2015
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If you’re looking for a venue that has a vibrant atmosphere for today’s Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, then look no further than Bidi Bondi.

Located between buildings three and four at Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, it has become a firm favourite with sports fans with various cricket, football and NRL games shown throughout the season. 

And it’s no surprise the ongoing World Cup has attracted huge numbers.

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So far hundreds have flocked to the bar since the opening game of the elite tournament last month and with latter stages still to come, there’s time for people to find out why it’s widely popular.

Tonight’s last-eight clashes see Australia pit themselves against Scotland before Ireland take on Argentina.

As an Australian-themed pub, the Wallabies clash will certainly draw in plenty of home fans. But whatever nation you support, you can be guaranteed your visit will be a memorable one.

To ensure you keep tabs on all the action, there are 17 large plasma screens, meaning you will not miss that important try, penalty kick or incident, wherever you sit.

“Bidi Bondi is no stranger to hosting live sport,” said Graham Knowles, manager at Bidi Bondi.

“We show many big sporting competitions including the Premier League, Champions League, ODI series and NRL.

“With the World Cup such a big tournament, we decided to install more plasma screens around the venue to ensure people can have the best possible experience.

Bidi Bondi's outside patio.

“Since the opening game of the World Cup, there’s been a real buzz around the place. We’ve had a great atmosphere already whichever teams have played and we always have the commentary on full volume.

“We also have put up the flags of each and every country that is participating and have World Cup decors on display for our visitors to get a feel of the World Cup experience.”

The people of Bidi Bondi thrive on creating the right atmosphere for all big sporting occasions and the bar was also nominated for Time Out magazine’s best bar food award.

Additionally, you can take advantage of many promotions including the ‘Palm Weekend’ ticket. For just Dh130, you can purchase five drinks, or choose a meal and four drinks for the same price.

All in all, Knowles insists it will be a visit you will remember.

“People who come here for the first time, keep returning,” he said. “We offer great service, have a wide selection of beverages and dishes to choose from, We want people to feel at home and enjoy the games at Bidi Bondi because we love sport as much as you do.”

The venue is open from 09:00 daily and entry is free. 

What: Rugby World Cup games at Bidi Bondi
Where: Between Buildings Three and Four, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
When: Open daily from 09:00
Contact: Phone 04 4270515

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Going Out: Join Marion Bartoli for a tennis marathon in the UAE

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Marion Bartoli lifts aloft the Wimbledon title in 2013.

Tennis enthusiasts in the UAE could help Dubai break a Guinness World Record next month at a unique 24 Hour Tennis Marathon to be held at the Grand Hyatt hotel on November 13-14.

Corporate teams of 12 players each can sign up to take part in the event which will see 72 participants, joined by 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, combine to play tennis for 24 hours.

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With the French star on board, organisers Veracity World and Sherrif International Sports Management (SISM) hope to break the record of most players taking part in a tennis exhibition. 

The Guinness World Record team will be on site to monitor the event and hand out certificates when it concludes.

Besides the record attempt, the tennis marathon will give corporations a team-building exercise opportunity for the employees taking part while fans of the sport will get a chance to interact with a Wimbledon champion like Bartoli, who will join the players on court, give free clinics, and share her experiences in a Q&A session at a gala dinner.

“Dubai is a place that has been very supportive to the sport and this is the place we’ve chosen to take the sport to a different level. A level that is beyond the obvious,” says Vipin Sharma, managing director of Veracity World.

The unique event will be held at the Grand Hyatt hotel next month.

Strath Sherrif, of SISM and owner of Dubai Tennis Academy, added: “We’re going to officially attempt a new world record. The real vision behind this is that normally when you play tennis, you go on the court as a singles player and you’re all by yourself. 

“We want this to be more of a group, a team effort. So with your team, you should be able to play for 24 hours.  The official record currently for an exhibition tennis event is 72 players. We’ll have Marion Bartoli join the 72 players to break the record.”

There is also a philanthropic element to the event with a portion of the proceedings going to the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre/Rashid Centre for Disabled.

A Kids Club will be set up on the grounds of the Grand Hyatt and a host of activities will be running on the sidelines of the competition.

Spectators will get to interact with Bartoli in an autograph session during the clinics or at the gala dinner later in the evening.

Team slots are still open and corporations can sign up at www.24hourtennismarathon.com. Various ticket packages are available for purchase that would give access to the competition, the gala dinner, a breakfast, and more. 

The tennis action commences at 13:00 on November 13 and will conclude at 13:00 the following day.

What: 24 Hour Tennis Marathon
When: 13:00, November 13 2015 – 13:00 November 14 2015
Where: Grand Hyatt hotel, Dubai
Contact: 24hourtennismarathon.com; 04 427 3706, e-mail: [email protected]

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