For the first time in Asia and the Middle East, the UAE is preparing to host the World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship which will take place this weekend.
To be held from March 2-4 at the Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi, the event will see more than 700 players from 40 countries.
The World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship is one of the key international events on the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation’s calendar. The competition is dominated by two categories: the Under-18’s and U-21’s with 51 players making up the UAE squad.
Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, president of the Jiu Jitsu International Federation, said: “This is one of the most important world sport championships. The future of any sport relies on its youth.
“Therefore, the JJIF values this Championship for its active role in raising awareness about the importance of Jiu-Jitsu and fostering its position on the international sports arena.
“The UAE’s hosting of this Championship is testament to its leading position and international capabilities within Jiu-Jitsu ability to organise local and international championships. We are confident in the UAE’s capacities to host this event in accordance with the highest global regulatory levels and standards, despite the large numbers of participants expected to arrive in such a short period of time.”
Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, Austria, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, Iran, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden, Morocco, Spain and Russia are among the nations that will be competing.
Abdulmunem Al Hashemi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, president of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union and senior vice president of Jiu-Jitsu International Federation, declared the nation is looking forward to welcoming Asia’s best.
He said: “Hosting this event in Abu Dhabi crowns a long journey of hard work and dedication, and it coincides with the Year of Zayed, which represents a great opportunity for the UAE to adhere to the noble values instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan.
“The World Youth Championship will display all the hard work undertaken by the UAEJJF and its strategic partners in cooperation with the JJIF, to strengthen the country’s status as a global hub for hosting world sporting events.”
He added: “The hosting of this Championship in the UAE is a new breakthrough for the global sport, and is a proof of our position in supporting and enhancing the presence of this sport amongst the next generation.”
For Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, and secretary-general of the Asian and International Federations, he believes the championship being held in Abu Dhabi is proof that the sport is growing.
“The World Youth Championship is the newest international addition on Abu Dhabi’s calendar of Jiu-Jitsu events,” he said.
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