Al Bateen Secondary School had a week to remember with their Under-13 and Under-15 teams triumphing in the ADISSA volleyball tournaments.
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Training since September, the girls’ teams overcame strong competition from top schools in Abu Dhabi.
In the Under-13 category, Al Bat-een faced a tough challenge in the form of hosts Brighton College.
Both sides put on impressive performances in the earlier rounds, but Al Bateen came out on top to win 25-17 in a closely-fought encounter. Al Yasmina School completed the podium finishing third.
Al Bateen had even more reason to celebrate with the Under-15 team winning their age group division a day later.
As hosts, Al Bateen didn’t buckle under the pressure and put on some inspiring performances.
With opponents Raha International School, Brighton College and Al Yasmina School making things tough, Al Bateen did enough to make the final.
And just like in the Under-13 category, they came up against Brighton College.
Both teams rose to the occasion in what was an entertaining spectacle for the fans, which saw Al Bateen secure a double with a 25-15 win.
The victories meant Al Bateen ended their season on a winning note and teacher Matthew Pollock was delighted with the success.
“The girls have put in a lot of hard work and trained once a week,” he said.
“The tournament was a great way to put their practice in a match scenario and they certainly did well in a competition, which attracted some strong teams.”
He added: “We knew it would be tough and the girls did extremely well to finish their tournament in first position.
“To win two tournaments is a fantastic achievement because all the schools were tough to beat.”
Celebration time for DESS following successful year
Following an outstanding sporting season, DESS Primary School pupils were recognised for their achievements in their end of year ceremony.
It has been a busy nine months for the Dubai school with the students, aged between five and 11, taking part in various competitions in different sports including netball, football, rugby, basketball, aquathlon, rounders and golf.
Their hard work paid off as DESS topped their respective tournaments 31 times, while finishing second 17 times.
They also claimed third place on 19 occasions.
Children received medals and trophies while the Year Six pupils received special awards for their overall contribution to sport at the school.
Among the top accolade winners were Isla Crameri and Mark Bezzina.
Crameri was chosen for her contribution to athletics, swimming, basketball, football, netball rugby, aquathlon and cross country. And Bezina received the award for swimming, athletics, football, basketball, aquathlon and cross country.
Chris Rowe, director of sport, said: “It has been inspirational to see the levels of enthusiasm and dedication shown by the children in particular and for me to know I have been able to play a big part in developing a lifelong love of exercise and activity with them.”
It’s an academic year that Ben Bracciano and Chantell Janzs will not want to forget after they received the ‘GEMS WSO & Sport360° Sports Personality of the Year’ awards.
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The GEMS Wellington Academy (Silicon Oasis) students claimed the top awards at the school’s end of season ceremony last week for not only excelling in their sports but also going beyond by helping their fellow peers. Their achievements were just one of many awards for the students with top performers in different age groups recognised.
James Tucker, principle at GEMS Sports Academy, who handed out some of the awards, said Year 10 student Bracciano, who specialises in swimming, and Year 11 pupil Janzs, a promising netball player, were deserving winners.
“They were chosen for their outstanding contribution in their chosen sport as well as their leadership and being role models for their fellow students and helping in other sporting events,” he said.
“They helped and coached and encouraged the kids, and it was more of an all-round award for sporting excellence. Ben is a new student and to have such an impact in his first academic year, he was simply overwhelmed to be honest. “Chantell has put in a lot of hard work and both have inspired the younger children at school.”
British School of Al Khubairat (BSAK) showed no signs of nerves as they came out on top in their Primary Swimming Fixture. At Abu Dhabi’s GEMS Cambridge International School, the BSAK children had to overcome some tough performances from the other competitors but did enough to finish the event, which attracted four schools across the capital.
After some promising displays earlier in the season, BSAK demonstrated their strength and depth in swimming by topping the standings with 266 points ahead of Brighton College (217).
British International School Abu Dhabi (201) and GEMS Cambridge International (181) finished third and fourth. Simon Pickering, director of swimming at BSAK, said: “The swimmers are not only competitive against opposition but among themselves. I am pleased for them that their hard work has come to fruition, they deserve it.”
With the help of a football league and other activities, The Millennium School raised a staggering Dh96,289 for victims of the Nepal earthquake. Titled as ‘Save Nepal Football League’, 14 teams and 160 players took part in the event, which was won by Acedia Titans.
Executive principal, Michael Guzder, said: “The tournament was a result of the passion of the senior school boys coupled with a desire to reach out to the victims of the Nepal earthquake.”
In an all-Sharjah final, Al Kamal American School overcame Al Shoala School 3-1 to clinch the second phase of the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ league title.
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Having overcome a tough group and two knock-out stages, the winners were made to work for their victory after Al Shoala put on a spirited performance.
With the young players showcasing their talent on a specially-built turf at Dubai Mall’s ice-rink, matches were closely-fought and provided plenty of entertainment for the spectators.
Organised by Axiom and Ahdaaf, the tournament offered young footballers an opportunity to gain nationwide recognition as well as receive support to achieve their ambition of becoming professional footballers in the UAE.
The event attracted 16 schools from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, who qualified for the second phase after impressing in the first leg of the competition in April.
And Faisal Al Bannai, CEO of Axiom, was delighted by what he saw in the five-a-side tournament.
“At Axiom, we are eager to find the leaders of tomorrow from all walks of life,” he said.
“The passion and skill we observed during the second phase of the ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ football league illustrated the great potential of today’s youth in becoming athletic ambassadors of the UAE.”
And Anas Bukhash, managing partner of Ahdaaf Sports Club, echoed Al Bannai’s views, adding: “It was great seeing ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, a concept we built at Ahdaaf, finally come to life and being the first pan-emirate football league in the UAE joining both public and private schools in one competition.”
He added: “A thank you must go to our partners Axiom and our team at Ahdaaf for running the whole project and making it a successful reality.
Finally, I’d like to also thank our supporting partners Dubai Sports Council and KHDA for their support.”
Nithya and Aarya lead Millennium heroics in the pool
The Millennium School (TMS) reigned supreme as both their boys and girls teams triumphed at the JSS International School Swimming Gala.
At JSS International School, Dubai, TMS put on some strong performances at the one-day event in various disciplines including the backstroke, freestyle and individual medley.
Following some thrilling races in the pool, the Dubai-based school accumulated enough points to top the competition, which attracted a total of eight teams.
Among the winners for TMS were Nithya Viswanathan and Aarya Lakshminarayanan, who were crowned champions in the Under-10 and Under-14 category for girls.
For the boys, Abhay Fabian Kumar and Aakash Deep Singh took individual gold in the Under-14 and Under-12 categories, respectively.
Executive principal Michael Guzder praised both coaches and the pupils for their efforts.
He said: “This is yet another feather in the cap for our coaches who have worked hard with the students to make sure they perform extremely well in all competitions they take part in, including national and international events.
“The Millennium School is proud of the achievement of our students and the honour they bring their families and our school.”