In a healthy mix of rivalry and fun, over 400 participants took part in Sharjah’s first-ever female-only obstacle race titled ‘Challenge Accepted’ on Saturday.
Organised by the Sharjah Girl’s Guide (SGG), the race was held at its Al Bdai’e headquarters.
Contestants were put through a series of obstacles where they had to navigate through water, ice and sand along with some balancing tasks.
The race was divided into two categories with contestants in the age group of 7-12 navigating a 3km course while those aged 13-23 were put through a 4km course.
In a keenly contested race in the junior category, Amna Fouad Annohi emerged as the winner with Shamma Abdelrahim Al Bastaki and Maha Abdelaziz Ahmad finishing in second and third place respectively.
Fatima Al Ali took top honours in the senior category ahead of Sheikha Salem Al Dahmani and Alanood Al Ali.
The top finishers in the two races were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals along with Apple watches and some special offers from the Sharjah Ladies Club.
While the event saw some competitive healthy rivalry on the race track, those that came on to cheer the contestants were welcomed to an array of open-air activities including bouncy castles, inflatable maze challenges, a live escape game and team-building exercises.
“We are extremely proud of everyone who took part in our Challenge Accepted obstacle race, the winners, the runners up and every other competitor. We were delighted with the turnout and hope to see similar initiatives from children’s and youth organisations taking place in Sharjah in the future. We planned for this activity to have a strong element of fun, to encourage them to get involved in fitness activities. What we really want to see as an outcome of this event is more people adopting a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Shaikha Abdulaziz Al Shamsi, Manager of SGG.
Al Shamsi added that hosting the very first obstacle race in Sharjah exclusively for females comes as part of SGG’s vision to involve the community in new initiatives: “We were keen to introduce prospective members to the organisation, especially since we will start accepting membership applications for our new ‘Senior Guides’ category (ages 16-18) from the beginning of the upcoming year.
‘Challenge Accepted’ was sponsored by Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Ladies Club, Sharjah Co-op, Barakat Quality Plus and Virgin Megastore. The activity was the latest community initiative from SGG, which gave birth to the guiding movement in the UAE through its establishment in 1973.
SGG aims to inspire and nurture future generations to become progressive global citizens by providing a platform for girls to develop to their fullest potential. The organisation operates under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.
The third round of the President’s Jiu-Jitsu Cup for clubs will kick off on Saturday, December 23, as part of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) 2017-2018 season.
The event will be held for one day at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.
Registration for the third round of the tournament, which opened from July until December 16, has closed. The competition will feature the over 21’s pro men and women, under-20 boys and girls and under-17 boys and girls categories.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club will host the third round with the participation of players from the most important local Jiu-Jitsu clubs in the UAE. The fourth round will be held at Baynounah Educational Complex in Al Dhafra, and the final round in the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.
This championship is exclusively open to Emirati athletes, and aims to encourage competition amongst participating clubs.
It gives all registered jiu-jitsu players the opportunity to participate, as the event seeks to unearth Emirati talent to be part of the future national team.
The championship continues to attract a growing number of participants. The third round witnessed a significant rise in registration numbers, which reflects the determination of various players and clubs to compete.
Currently, Al Ain Club lead with a total of 1,352 points, while Al Jazira club are in second with 866 points, Al-Wahda is third with 811 points, and Al Dhafra is fourth with 436 points.
The championship consists of individual matches, according to age and weight groups categories regardless of the belt worn by the player. The age groups are divided into three groups: 21+ for men and women, under 20 boys and girls, under 17 boys and girls.
“One of our most important goals in the UAEJJF is to promote sport and improve the level of athletes in the UAE and provide them with the skills necessary to become champions with world-class competitive skills, and what we saw in the first and second rounds of the President’s Cup is just the evidence we need to prove that we’ve achieved this goal,” said Youssef Al Batran, UAEJJF board member.
“The clubs’ jiu-jitsu players showed amazing abilities and determination to compete and enhance their skills, resulting in world-class championships’ standards, enabling the UAE’s champions to participate in upcoming international jiu-jitsu championships this season, win more medals, and improve their great achievements for this season, which we are proud of,” he added.
UPCOMING LOCAL COMPETITIONS
The UAEJJF is preparing for the Fujairah International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which will be held on January 26-27, 2018 and the Ras Al Khaimah International Pro Championship, which will be held on February 16-17, 2018.
For more details about the President’s Jiu-Jitsu Cup, visit our website: www.uaejjf.com
Abu Dhabi Racing driver Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi is continuing preparations for the Dakar Rally with gruelling testing sessions in the Liwa desert.
The anniversary edition in January will run through three countries in South America – Peru, Bolivia and Argentina – and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge winner is bidding for a positive result at the historic race.
Sheikh Khalid has been busy with testing runs on the outskirts of the capital in the company of co-driver Xavier Panseri.
He said: “Testing has been very difficult especially because I have not driven in severe desert conditions such as these for the past eight months.
“It has been a fruitful period because the conditions have been very, very difficult and that throws up fresh and further challenges before us as a team.”
“Making things even more difficult was the fact that we were the only people in the desert and any mistake could prove to be very costly.”
Behind the wheel of a Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi, this will be the second time that Panseri will be Sheikh Khalid’s co-driver.
“The progress has been good so far. I feel that I can understand him well, but of course there are a few points that we need to develop as part of being one team. For sure, the key element here is that we need to remain patient and not make any mistakes,” he said.
“We need to avoid getting stuck or getting lost in the desert. You cannot afford to make mistakes and then hope to win or be at the top of the standings. It is a very long rally and we need to be at our best at all times.”
Sheikh Khalid has been testing in the old 2008 DKR Peugeot car, while the new Peugeot car is on the way to Lima in Peru.
“There is no big difference in the two cars, both are a rear wheel drive busy style cars. The biggest technique that we’ve got to master for the moment is that we need to ensure how not to get stuck in the sand in whatever car we are in. No doubt, there is very little difference in driving the old car and the new one,” Sheikh Khalid said.
The Dakar 2018 will feature seven off road stages made up of 100 per cent dunes. The rally, set over 9,000 kms, of which nearly 5,000 kms will be special stages and more than 4,000 kms of road sections.
Handling altitude will be yet another aspect of training for the Abu Dhabi team as they are required to race at a height of more than 3,600 metres.
“We have been training with altitude masks, while trying to use maximum valves for the masks to get as close to the conditions that we would be going through,” he said.
In the last edition of the race, Al Qassimi’s Dakar Rally debut came to an end with just one day to go following a technical snag on Stage 11 from San Juan to Rio Cuart.