Government teams set to take on the challenges at inaugural Gov Games

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His Highness Sheikh Hamdan

Government employees will swap the offices for Kite Beach this week as they test themselves in a series of obstacle courses in the inaugural Gov Games in Dubai.

An initiative only launched in March by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, there has been plenty of interest with 145 teams from 86 companies signing up.

Such high demand meant the organisers moved the competition to May 9-12 to allow the 82 men’s and 63 women’s teams enough time to prepare for the challenges.

Each team will have to use their mental and physical agilities to complete between seven and nine obstacles within a specific time. As well as using their everyday skills like communication, strategic thinking and problem solving, individuals will also be tested on their swimming, running and physical abilities.

The UAE are no strangers to hosting various sporting events but Marwan bin Essa, director of the Gov Games, believes there are many reasons why the event stands out.

“One of Sheikh Hamdan’s aims is to create the first world Government Olympics,” he said. “We are trying to be something different to the other sports like football and volleyball that are widely played and create an obstacle-related sports where the team has to work together.

“There will be times where you will be put in a situation and it’s up to the team to achieve the objective under pressure.”

He added: “We have around nine courses and each obstacle will take a couple of minutes. It’s all about mental agility, endurance and obviously team-work. Each one will be different and it won’t be the same. Each team will have to have a strategy to complete.

“There will be different ways for them to score points. I think it will be challenging as it will be one of the first kind of obstacles that they will face. All the courses are being specially designed for the Gov Games and have never been seen anywhere in the world.”

While the winning men’s and women’s teams will be awarded Dh1m, Bin Essa believes every team will benefit whether they win or lose.

“We want to promote team-work and fitness and the Gov Games does exactly that,” he said.

Although, it’s just for government companies in the UAE, there are plans to make the Gov Games global.

He added: “Definitely. There are plans to expand and hopefully go into our countries for other governments to be part of this as well. It’s a big event and definitely we will go bigger and hopefully we can see other governments from around the world compete.

“The platform will be in Dubai and as part of our future plans, to bring in governments from around the world.”

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Good morning everyone, it’s Niall McCague here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this evening.

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Good evening everyone, it’s Niall McCague here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on today.

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