Gifted youngsters getting ready for 2019 School's Got Talent finals

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Getting into rhythm: A School's Got Talent finalist

The UAE’s most talented youngsters will soon be battling it out to be crowned winner of School’s Got Talent 2019.

Back for its third season the Sun & Sand Sports competition pits the UAE’s hottest young talent against each other in a bid to win be crowned champion, and take home a whopping AED 20,000 AED grand prize.

Auditions for the finals were held earlier this month as the judges had the unenviable task of whittling it down to just seven finalists, known as MVPs. Despite there being room for only one winner, the seven finalists will take home a AED 2,000 Sun & Sand Sports voucher.

The competition looks to recognise the region’s up-and-coming sports stars aged between 7 – 12 years old. Last year’s competition was won by gymnast Naya Al Ghazzi after wowing the judges with her flawless performance. Sports on show in this year’s final include swimming (Neal Bisht), running (Cassius Leota), dance (Tanish Nagvekar), basketball (Nathan Philip), football (Hassan Saleh), martial arts (Bima Johnston) and gymnastics (Haifa Niegas).

In the semi-final judging stages, contenders were tested on various elements including speed, endurance and stamina. Dance, martial arts and gymnastic competitors didn’t have long to impress with their routine, while swimming involved performing other tasks such as retrieving objects from under water. The football and basketball hopefuls had to tackle a one-on-one match along with showcasing their skills in various challenges.

The finals will be held at the Dubai American Academy, Al Barsha on Friday 27th – with registrations open from 1:30pm –  where the judges will be watching the live performances. The top talents from each sport disciplines will then be judged on entertainment value, or other talents and their presentation skills. In the opening round the finalists have the chance to showcase their tricks and skills, and in round two they will be judged on their presentation performance as they are put to the test with a question and answer session.

Virgin Radio’s very own Kris Fade will be hosting the event with plenty of fun and games for all the family. Entertainment will include snooker football, football darts, basketball shots, prizes giveaways and much more.

To find out more information and the complete set of rules for the event visit www.schoolsgottalent.ae. Entry for the event is free and it is scheduled to kick off around 2pm.

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UAE’s BMX and MTB riders to compete on an equal platform at Red Bull Pump Track 2019

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Coming to the UAE: 2019 Red Bull Pump Track

Following its global debut last year, the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship is heading to the UAE.

Scheduled to take place on 20 September 2019 at Fujairah Adventures, the event, in partnership with Velosolutions, will become the first-ever event in the region where BMX and MTB riders can compete on an equal platform.

The competition is part of a global series, with qualifiers confirmed for more than 20 events in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa.

For those not-so-familiar with pump tracks, they combine rolling jumps with banked turns, with riders using track features to gain momentum and complete the course as fast as possible. How a rider controls their bike is key as momentum can be generated by up and down body movements, rather than pedalling or pushing.

In the competition, each qualifier begins with timed runs from which the top 32 competitors will move on to the knockout heats. The competition, which is open to both men and women, will take place in either a head-to-head battle or a time trial format, depending on final form of the track.

Finally, the top four men and women from each round will advance to the World Championship finals.

Making a special appearance in Fujairah this year is Kuwaiti BMX rider and Red Bull athlete, Mansour Al Safran – one of the top sportsmen in his field in the region. He’ll be taking part and showcasing his skills at the event, not to mention he will no doubt on hand to support competitors on the day.

2018 marked the inaugural year of one of Red Bull’s latest sporting events, with more than 2,000 participants from over 25 countries entering to race at qualifier events taking place across 21 countries. Many competitors even had the opportunity to battle it out against Olympic BMX racers, MTB World Champions, National Champions, as well as some of the leading talent in the freestyle community.

A total of 67 participants qualified for the World Final – held in October 2018 at the Velosolutions Pump Track at the Jones Center in Arkansas in the United States. And it was a double win for Switzerland, with Christa von Niederhäusern and David Graf claiming victory, and becoming the competitions very first winners.

“The Red Bull Pump Track World Championship has advanced the sport of pump track racing to a whole new level,” said Claudio Caluori, CEO at Velosolutions at the time. “It was impressive to see how hard professionals and amateurs battled it out on Velosolutions Pump Tracks around the world.”

Riders must be 16 years of age on the date of the competition in order to compete, and those under 18 must obtain their legal guardian’s permission. Registration must be made through the official event website.

In terms of equipment, participants are free to choose their preferred bike; however, it must come with a minimum wheel size of 20 inches, and must not be fitted with an engine.

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Ironman journey: The Ironstar Indoor Triathlon has all you need under one roof

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Sport360°’s Chris Bailey has signed up for the challenge of his life in November – an Ironman. Follow his adventure as he prepares his body for a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle and a marathon to finish with the help of I Love Supersport Dubai … check out part 1, part 2, part 3part 4, part 5 and part 6 here if you haven’t already.

If Ironman Arizona is my baby, then I’m getting an early introduction to fatherhood.

The baby’s screaming – that’s my inner self urging the physical vessel to get up and train. Then there’s the need for several feeds a day for a growing body and trying (in vain) not to indulge those cravings with sugary treats. The monthly bills have sky-rocketed and, believe me, the laundry list is never-ending thanks to reeking piles of gym clothes.

Even still – though it defies all logic – the love burns strong.

Three months remain before that little rascal comes of age in the US and it seems to have come around so quickly. Having progressed from vaguely ignorant to hyper-aware of the distance involved, I’m beginning to realise it’s far more of a mental challenge. No matter the amount of hours ticked off on treadmills and the like, it’s going to hurt. A lot. And I’ve just got to deal with it.

Last week it was time for a tiny sampler at the Ironstar Indoor Triathlon, situated at the Max & Aegle fitness club in Meydan. It was the first of two summer triathlons taking place at the gym and while it meant we all escaped the sun, we certainly brought the heat inside.

Tri2 (1)

The concept is simple. You swim lengths for 10 minutes in a pristine 25m pool before hopping on to a stationary bike and pounding the pedals for 30 minutes. That’s polished off by a 20 minute run, at the end of which all the metres and kilometres you’ve racked up are added together. Whoever has gone farthest, wins.

It’s intense. It’s brutal. The sweat turns the gym floor into a lake. Yet it is incredibly satisfying to expend as much energy as possible in such a short space of time, as opposed to the plod-fest that training for an Ironman can feel like at times.

Apart from a snafu on the bike, where my thunder thighs somehow broke the resistance knob and locked it onto a level that even Chris Froome would struggle turning, it was a blast.

It’s awesome receiving support during a traditional triathlon but here, with the organisers, volunteers and assembled well-wishers crowding around the apparatus and roaring you on, it adds more than a few peps to those steps.

I finished 15th out of 38 overall, with the capacity to have leapfrogged a few spots if not for the malfunction. Among a field in which some notoriously good TriDubai athletes came out to play, there will be no complaining from me.

VICIOUS CYCLE

So about those increasing bills … coach Dmitriy twisted my arm – it really didn’t need rotating much – and sourced a second-hand Colnago K-Zero for me to purchase. With a little/a lot of persuasion administered on the other half, I’ve got my very own superbike.

There are a few tiny things I need to get my head around first. Finding training wheels so I don’t burn out the bleeding-edge wheels it came with, for one, while also getting used to the shockingly high seat position that doubles me over onto the shockingly low aerobars.

Practice better make perfect – I quite literally cannot afford another crash.

Fancy getting your first taste of triathlon? I Love Supersport Dubai are running this year’s second IRONSTAR Indoor Triathlon Dubai at Max & Aegle fitness centre, Meydan, on September 14 involving a 10 minute swim, 30 minute bike and 20 minute run. Sign up at www.premieronline.com – hurry, places are going fast!

COACH’S CORNER

Dmitriy Firsov – ILSS coach

Chris is now in his last loading stage, which will take him approximately three months with three weeks of tapering straight after. Understanding where he in the training process, we’ve finished one week of recovery and started the full endurance loading in order to make sure he will be ready by race day.

Loading is supposed to be done regularly – but based on what you’ve done in the previous week. Consequently it’s difficult to say how much training is left to do, but through experience working with other athletes, I can say now that we are on an endurance loading block in order to make sure that Chris will complete the distance in the time frame that we planned.

One of the key points is technical support. That’s why we ordered a new bike and why I wanted to make sure that by the time Chris comes to the Ironman distance, nothing will let him down. It’s lighter, more stiff and with together with the wheel upgrades that Chris has made on the bike, he will be faster – though at the end of the day that mainly depends on the legs!

With the Ironstar Indoor Triathlon that Chris was participating in, you don’t need much to compete – all you need is a tri-suit and running shoes, so beginners can try it without putting so much money into it. It’s a chance for beginners to try a triathlon out for the first time in a controlled environment with little cost. Also, this event can be used for more serious amateurs or experienced athletes to test themselves during the loading period; how it’s going, what can be improved, so on and so forth.

As it’s done indoors, the loading you receive during the event is harder as it’s the environment surrounding you is not changing – you see your competitors side-by-side in the pool, on the stationary bike and treadmill. It’s a constant pinch to the body, seeing everyone around you putting in their maximum effort and pushes you to do more!

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