Have your say as to who should be crowned Sport360's star sportsmen, sportswomen and teams of 2014 from our shortlist of nominees, using #360awards on social media or by commenting below.
International Sportsman of the Year – READ about each nominee.
International Sportswoman of the Year – READ about each nominee.
International Team of the Year – READ about each nominee.
Regional Sportsman of the Year – READ about each nominee.
Regional Sportswoman of the Year – READ about each nominee.
Regional Team of the Year
Fitness First Mirdiff City Centre were the big winners as the inaugural FIT Awards 2014 enjoyed a gala opening.
Organised by Sport360° in partnership with FitnessLink.me and the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), the awards aimed to recognise excellence and achievements of the health and fitness industry in the UAE for the first time.
Courtesy of sponsors Daman and Dubai Sports City, 375 attendees packed into the Jumeirah Emirates Towers’ Godolphin Ballroom on Friday evening to see the best practitioners and events rewarded for their outstanding work.
A total of 185 entries from facilities, organisations, initiatives, leaders and individuals in the fitness world were registered – 88 of which were polled and judged as finalists across 14 categories.
More than 23,000 votes were cast by the public from November 1 to December 1, their selections guiding the strict judging process.
The achievements of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, were also recognised with the Ultimate Recognition Award.
In the judging process, it was Fitness First Mirdiff City Centre who emerged with the night’s key prize of Facility of the Year 1001+ Members.
“It feels really good,” senior general manager Edward Elliott said.
“As a brand, Fitness First really has stepped it up during the four years I have been in the Middle East.
"We put the attention into the small items in the business, coaching our staff and focusing on operations. The FIT Awards have been fantastic.”
As one of the fastest growing sectors, the fitness industry in the UAE comprises more than 1,600 registered professionals across more than 160 venues and facilities.
Key health and fitness figures and government officials headed to Emirates Towers to see who would emerge victorious from the hotly-contested categories.
And Michael Chalhoub, of Sport360°, hoped the occasion would be the first of many.
He said: “At Sport360° one of our missions is to help people lead healthier lifestyles.
“When we saw the professionalism and amount of hard work put in, we decided it could not continue to grow unnoticed.
“The FIT Awards’ objective is to set a new standard for the health and fitness industry and to become the annual event that highlights the ultimate achievements of all the key players.”
All but one of the finalists went through a thorough three-stage judging process involving 20 highly professional and experienced
industry leaders, the process overseen by auditors Deloitte and Touche.
The evening’s big success story were Exhale Fitness Studio, who came away with both the Studio of the Year and Ladies Only Facility of the Year titles.
The exception came in the Fitness Event of the Year, which was decided purely by public vote.
Sharjah Ladies Club took the prize, reward for April’s five-kilometre Sharjah Ladies Run which attracted more than 250 people.
“We were hoping for the best, and luckily the best came,” events and public relations manager Ameera Al Aami said.
“This was a really fun night and great for the Sharjah Ladies.
The fitness industry in the UAE comprises more than 2,500 registered professionals across more than 160 venues. As the industry grows and as a way to validate the excellence of professionals in the region, Sport360, FitnessLink, and REPs UAE would like to recognise and reward those that have made this industry a success across all the diverse health & fitness segments.
Event of the Year
Al Ain Rotanna Walkathon
Dubai Fitness Championship
One of the most prestigious events in the Middle East for fitness enthusiasts, The Dubai Fitness Championships is now in its third year, offering a spectacular display of fitness talent, strength and determination. This year’s edition saw 26 female athletes and 80 male athletes challenge for honours in a number of events, each testing different aspects of their fitness.
Sharjah Ladies Run
The 5k event held in April was organised under the patronage of Shaikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Wasimi, and aimed to spread awareness among women about healthy living.
The Color Run
The popular Colour Run is dubbed as the 'happiest 5km on the planet' and it's easy to see why. Over 12,000 participants took part in the second edition of the race at Dubai Autodrome at the end of November. The event has the right recipe to motivate people to go out and have a healthy lifestyle and enjoy themselves.
The Wadi Adventure Race
Wadi Adventure Race is a gruelling 10km obstacle course in its seventh edition. "It's amazing to see how much the Wadi Adventure Race has grown," said Wadi Adventure general manager Lennard Otto. "We had 75 racers and a handful of spectators for WAR 1, and less than two years later WAR 7 is gearing up to host 1,000 runners, hundred of spectators and even more sponsors." To highlight the events success, runners from around the world are registering for to participate.
The Weight Loss Show
Close to 15,000 competitors took part in this year's event at Dubai International Marine Club. The event continues to gain prominence and whether your participating in the event to improve fitness levels or to loose weight, this event has all the resources to help you succeed with your respective goals.
Teacher / Coach of the Year
Bogdan Nicolae Uruci – Dubai Olympic Gymnastics Club
Bogdan has represented Romania in Gymnastics at various elite European competitions, finishing second overall in France in 2005. He has been involved in gymnastics coaching for 16 years, which includes seven years at the helm of Dubai Olympics Gymnastics Club. It is his day-to-day objective to inspire his students to be their best and for them to represent the UAE on the world stage. His students have placed higher and more frequently than any other club or coach in the region.
Heba Abdel Gawad – Creative Movement
Heba is a two-time former Olympic athlete having competed in the Sydney and Athens Olympics as a synchronized swimmer. She is a pilates teacher, fitness educator and synchronized swimming coach and has travelled around the world, partaking in courses to update her knowledge. To underline her success as a coach, Heba’s clients have won The Next Fitness Star Middle East 2014 and she’s also created the NeuroPilates method, a course which is the first of its kind in the region.
Liz Terry – Satya Flow Yoga
Liz has been teaching Yoga for over five and a half years and holds an array of qualifications, including Reiki and MyoFascial Release. Liz empowers her students to take yoga beyond the studio, and her work involves offering a safe place for people to practice the art.
Omar Al Duri – Platform 3 Fitness
Omar is the heartbeat of Platform 3 and his work is unique in the way that he designs the training sessions and programmes himself. Some of the elements Omar believes in are character building and improving confidence. He’s also coached football at grassroots level and this has given him a platform to showcase his skills in Physical Education.
Paul Thornley – REAL Pilates
Paul has been a full-time instructor at REAL PILATEs for three years and has been involved in coaching many different programmes. He is the only Stott Pilates Instructor in the Middle East and has helped thousands of fitness enthusiasts through his classes.
Rica Rodriguez – Fitness 360
Rica is the Group GX Manager of Fitness 360. Her work encompasses much more and she is also a mentor, group exercise instructor, master trainer and co-worker. She says her biggest passion is to touch someone’s life and share her knowledge and bring out the best in people.
Emirati Fitness Professional of the Year
1) Manal Abdulla Rashid – Sharjah Ladies Club
2) Niveen Kaddas Al Remeithi – Freelance
3) Tariq Adel Al Kamil – Opportunity Through Sport
4) Hania Kuleib – Inspire Sports Management
Facility of the Year – under 1000
Fit Lab at Emirates Golf Club
Fit Lab at Emirates Golf Club boasts recreation facilities and services to rival any club in the Middle East. It provides a full range of leisure activities covering swimming, tennis, squash and personal fitness. The facilities include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, four floodlit tennis courts, two glass-back squash courts, padeltennis courts, a temperature controlled swimming pool and SensAsia Urban Spa.
Fitness 360 – International City
In 2010, Lal’s group entered the fitness market with one differentiating goal – to provide health clubs that offer a world-class affordable fitness option reachable to absolutely everyone. Every branch is built uniquely based on location and the needs of the neighbourhood. The concepts range from a full-fledged health club to an express club and most importantly the first ladies only club that offers top of the line facilities for women only. These tailor-made clubs are essentially a first in the region re enforcing our belief that fitness must be based on individual needs.
Fitness First Knowledge Village
Fitness First have over 70,000 members in 58 clubs in 45 locations across the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait. Coming soon: Team training is group training with 4-6 members which takes place on the gym floor and the GX Studio’s in our clubs. This is a goal orientated training approach with the support and encouragement of our highly qualified Personal Trainers and other members. Fitness First also offer Outdoor team training, which is a bootcamp style training program incorporating all the best elements of training in the great outdoors.
Reebok CrossFit Life Spark
Reebok Xfit work exclusively with functional, compound movements and shorter, higher intensity cardio sessions. This is because compound, functional movement and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result. The key difference between them and most other fitness programmes is in the all-inclusive approach to health, fitness, vitality and life, or what they term Total Life Fitness.
Scandanavian Health and Performance JLT
Originally founded in Sweden, Scandinavian Health & Performance has grown into an industry leader in Dubai, making sure clients have the support they need to reach their goals. By using a holistic approach with nutrition and injury prevention as key components, the SHP model promotes longer lasting results, optimal health and maximal performance. There is also popular corporate training as healthy employees are happier. Happiness boosts morale, improves performance and increases productivity.