In this week’s episode of UAE Spotlight, Sport360 reporters Matt Jones and Matt Monaghan dissect all the big stories from local sport last week.
In rugby, Abu Dhabi Harlequins and the UAE have been dealt a massive blow with captain Ben Bolger’s retirement.
The 28-year-old, who led Quins to five titles last season, was forced to hang up his boots last week because of concussion.
In local football, new UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni was spotted taking in the latest round of Arabian Gulf League games ahead of his squad announcement next month.
They might not be the real thing, but two local namesakes of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid matched the goal-scoring feats of the originals, launching their campaign in the seven-a-side football tournament of the Positive Soul community sports initiative with big wins.
Barcelona were dominant as they defeated Lootah 6-1 at Muhaisnah Park, while Madrid blanked Al Ittihad 4-0 on the opening weekend of the second stage of the Positive Soul initiative, which was launched by Dubai Police in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council in May.
Gulf Heroes defeated Muhaisnah 3-2 and Al Khawaneej shared points with Al Ansar following a 3-3 draw in the day’s other matches.
The first stage of the programme was held in Mirdiff from May 29 to September 15, while the second stage is being held in Muhaisnah 2, with football, basketball, volleyball and taekwondo competitions, among others, being staged.
The third stage will take place in Barsha 1 from December 1 to February 28, while Al Quoz Industrial Area One will host the fourth and final stage of the initiative between March 1 and May 31, 2018.
The pioneering “Positive Soul” initiative is held under the umbrella of the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Community Sports Programme. The goal of the initiative is to boost the values of tolerance, co-existence and dialogue among all individuals in the community, and rejecting all forms of extremism, violence, intolerance and discrimination.
Dubai Government entities like Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Department of Health Authority (DHA), Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), Dubai Knowledge, Al Ameen Service, Dubai Media Inc, The Permanent Committee Of Labour Affairs in Dubai and Arabian Radio Network (ARN) are participating in the initiative.
Thousands of participants got their #Dubai30x30 goals off to flying start this weekend by joining celebrities and fitness experts at Safa Park for the first Weekend Fitness Carnival of the much-awaited Dubai Fitness Challenge.
The two-day festival of fitness played host to an amazing line-up of celebrity training sessions, live shows and the opportunity to try over 40 exciting sports and activities including American Football, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Plyo Box Vertical Jump, Strength Training, Suspension Training, Touch Rugby and Volleyball.
Former England football captain and Manchester United player, Rio Ferdinand, joined the festivities, demonstrating his own fitness regime and joining the Football Freestylers show, while celebrity RJ’s Kris Fade, Big Rossi and James Everton took to the stage to motivate both adults and kids to embrace an active lifestyle.
The event also inspired kids to get more active with a host of activities including bubble soccer, a climbing wall, trampolines, an inflatable assault course, Horse Hoppers in addition to football skills, drills, training and games on small pitches.
Everyone was asked to record their fitness activity at the Carnival on the Dubai Fitness Challenge App which tracks overall citywide activity throughout the initiative.
The opening Weekend Fitness Carnival is the start of the 30-day, first of its kind challenge aiming to make Dubai one of the most active cities in the world. It will be followed next weekend with a different kind of Carnival at Kite Beach featuring a host of sand and sea based activities including Beach Soccer, Volleyball and Cricket, Frescobol, Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Kite Surfing, Paragliding and Beach Bootcamp classes.
For more information visit www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com.