UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy rolls out phase two of its youth cycling initiative

Sport360 staff 18:01 16/04/2019
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Following the success of academies run across Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the past 12 months, the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy has announced plans to initiate phase two of the cycling initiative.

The academy is set to roll out in three different schools across Abu Dhabi – Al Rabeeh School, Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys and ADNOC Sas Al Nakhl – throughout the months of April and May.

The sessions will see over 50 hours of coaching delivered by qualified cycling instructors to more than 300 youngsters between the age of 8-11, focusing on key elements of fitness, bike handling and technique.

The academy will culminate in a cycling showcase in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, May 4.

The latest announcement reiterates the team’s ambition to encourage the next generation of UAE cyclists. It also follows a largely successful trial run of the academy at Aldar Academies Al Yasmina School in October, where over 100 youngsters aged 5-15 participated in a clinic and had the chance to meet the team’s star riders including UAE national champion, Yousif Mirza, and 2018 Tour de France stage winners Alexander Kristoff and Dan Martin.

Commenting on the youth academy, team president Matar Al Dhaheri, said: “The UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy has already impacted the lives of hundreds of youngsters across the Emirates and we are thrilled to be able to build on the foundations we’ve created over the past 12 months.

“With the right programme and delivery, we truly believe that the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy has the potential to be the bedrock of youth cycling in the UAE.”

The sessions will be tailored to each child’s individual needs, while improving their all-round cycling ability. Some youngsters will also have the opportunity to learn from Emirati rider Mirza.

He became the first ever cyclist to represent the UAE at the Olympic Games and has achieved recent success with the UAE national team, picking up a stage victory at the Tour of Egypt.

The Emirati star will offer advice and guidance to the youngsters and share his success story in the hope of inspiring them to take up cycling.

The first session of the three-week initiative started at Al Rabeeh School on Tuesday, April 15. Phil Yates, assistant head teacher at Al Rabeeh, said: “We are very excited to welcome the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy to our school; this offers a brilliant opportunity for our students to take their interest in cycling to the next level, under the guidance of professional trainers fully committed to advancing our student’s skillset.

“We also believe that regular exercise can have an extremely positive impact on the physiological and psychological health of our students, so look forward to welcoming the academy over the coming weeks.”

Al Dhaheri added: “The UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy is aligned with the government’s health and wellness objectives in that we are striving to instil a sense of healthy living in our future generation and encourage them to lead more active lifestyles.

“With new cycle lanes and tracks being developed at a rapid rate, the opportunities for cyclists are endless. While UAE Team Emirates plays a fundamental and aspirational role for any young cyclist, the UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy can be the start of an amazing journey that could potentially results in a future at the top of the sport.”

The UAE Team Emirates Youth Academy will visit schools on the following dates:

Al Rabeeh School (April 23 & 30); Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys (April 17, 24 & May 1); ADNOC Sas Al Nakhl (April 18, 25 & May 2).

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