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.”
As we enter the last few days of preparation, the organizing committee conducted tests to ensure the safety of all players. Are you ready?💪😃#GovGames #1team1spirit@meraasdubai pic.twitter.com/Gu04KxWZnz— الألعاب الحكومية (@GovGames) May 4, 2018
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.”
Good morning everyone, it’s Niall McCague here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this evening.
Rangers announced Friday that former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard is their new manager, joining the Scottish Premiership club on a four-year deal.
“I am honoured to become the next manager of Rangers,” Gerrard said in a statement on the club’s website. “I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition.”
And according to reports on Friday morning, a three-year deal has been agreed that will see Gerrard – who has only previously worked with Liverpool’s Under-18s – take his first step into first-team management.
In tonight’s IPL encounter, Mumbai Indians face Kings XI Punjab after losing six out of their last eight matches.
It’s a do or die game for Rohit Sharma and his side as they need to win in Indore to stand any chance of qualifying for the play-offs.
Head coach Zoran Mamic has confirmed he expects to sign a new contract with Al Ain‘in the coming days’.
The ex-Croatia defender’s 18-month deal is set to expire this season after arriving for Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr in February 2017.
In cycling, the first stage of the Giro d’Italia gets underway with eight UAE Team Emirates riders in action.
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IPL: Kings XI Punjab v Mumbai Indians, 18:30
Premier League: Brighton v Manchester United, 23:00
NBA playoffs: New Orleans v Golden State 04:30 (+1)
Utah v Houston 06:30 (+1)
Good evening everyone, it’s Niall McCague here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on today.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Real Madrid are favourites to win the Champions League final but the Kop club should not be ruled out given the attacking talent Jurgen Klopp’s team possess.
Hamann, who was part of Rafael Benitez’s 2005 side that lifted the trophy in Istanbul, also feels Los Blancos may lack the appetite to win a fourth European Cup in five years – something that could potentially tip the balance in Liverpool’s favour.
Full tactical preview, here.
In IPL, Chennai Super Kings gear up to play Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens tonight, with MS Dhoni’s side on top of the table with six wins from eight matches.
The hitting power of Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu has fuelled their campaign so far and will be central to how they perform at Kolkata.
Aru, Italian national champion joins six-time stage winner Diego Ulissi, Valerio Conti, Marco Marcato and Manuele Mori along with Colombian climber Darwin Atapuma, Slovenia’s Jan Polanc and Norway’s Vegard Stake Laengen in the team for the first Grand Tour of the season.
The race will take place between May 4 to 27.
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Sport360’s Alex Rea dissects Wednesday night’s thrilling semi-final and analyses Liverpool’s coveted front three: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Read more here.
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IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings 18:30
Europa League: Atletico Madrid v Arsenal 23:05