Going Out: Rivalries are renewed at DDF Football Legends

Denzil Pinto 22/10/2015
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Leading light: John Barnes.

Some of the biggest names in the pantheon of great footballers descend on Dubai this weekend.

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Legends like John Barnes and Viv Anderson will be on show displaying their supreme talents, while there will also be an opportunity to meet the stars, too.

Barnes and Anderson will don the Liverpool and Manchester United shirts, and will be joined by ex-Rangers defender Colin Hendry and Celtic’s Regi Blinker as the four clubs battle for honours in Friday's Dubai Duty Free Football Legends tournament from 19:00.

A total of 24 players will be in action in the five-a-side event with the top two from the round-robin stage advancing to the final. For what promises to be an exciting evening, fans at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium are in for a treat.

Barnes, who won two league titles and FA Cups at Anfield, can call upon Liverpool team-mates Patrik Berger and Champions League winner Vladimir Smicer.

Anderson, who became the first black player to represent England and enjoyed a strong career at Old Trafford, will lead a Manchester United side featuring 1999 treble winner David May, Clayton Blackmore, Lee Martin, Nick Culkin and Russell Beardsmore.

Big name: Vennegoor of Hesselink.

But the English sides will face stern competition from their Scottish counterparts. factfile Former Scotland captain Hendry, who won the domestic treble with Rangers in 1999, headlines a strong Rangers side including striker Michael Mols, Alex Rae, Neil Murray, Charlie Miller and Marvin Andrews.

Blinker, who scored nine times in his 47 appearances at Parkhead, will be among the Celtic players as well as Joe Miller, striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Rudi Vata and David Elliott.

With more than 350 international caps between them, the competition will certainly be exciting as they roll back the years that made them illustrious figures at their respective clubs. And Barnes, who made 314 appearances during his 10-year stay at Anfield, is looking forward to showcasing his skills.

“I cannot wait to step back on that pitch in Dubai,” said Barnes. “Liverpool against Manchester United and Rangers against Celtic are two of the biggest rivalries in the world of football, and you can be sure that none of these players like to lose. So, the competitiveness will still be there for all to see.

“This is a great event to bring to Dubai as I know all these four clubs are extremely popular over there, so it is a chance for football fans to get up close and personal with us.”

Before that, you can get a meet the legends (apart from Barnes) yourself free on Thursday from 19:00 at the Irish Village in Dubai.

John Clayman, of DPM Event Management, said: “It will be a vibrant atmosphere with not only meeting the stars but seeing the players in action on the field.”

Tickets start from Dh150 and can be purchased at Virgin Tickets, TixBox, Platinum List and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium Box Office. Children under 16 will be given free entry, providing they are with an adult, who has purchased a ticket.
 

VENUE: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
WHAT: Dubai Duty Free Football Legends Tournament and Meet and Greet
WHEN: Tournament on Friday from 19:00 (Gates open at 17:00). Meet and Greet at Irish Village on Thursday from 19:00.
Sport360 VERDICT: Expect a vibrant atmosphere and be ready for a great evening of football.
CONTACT: For more information, call 04 239 5000 or search ‘DDF Football Legends’ on Facebook.

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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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– #360view: Argentina set purists purring at RWC

– Kotze: Ex-coach confident rugby will thrive in UAE 

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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