Bigger and better with two new sports to boast, the seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament is underway.
Organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the NAS Sports Tournament is the biggest event of its kind in terms of participation and prize money, and has been held every year in the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013.
The Tournament has seen more than 22,000 athletes take part over the past six seasons, including amateurs and international legends like Zinedine Zidane and Falcao, and even Ambassadors and Consul Generals of different countries.
The seventh season of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament, being held under the slogan ‘Limitless Abilities’, will see more than 6,500 participants in action over the coming 18 days in 13 different events: Futsal, Volleyball, Padel, Fencing, Wheelchair Basketball, Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities, NAS Night Challenge, the 5km and 10km Run, 75km Cycle Race, 3×3 Basketball, Jiu-Jitsu, Cricket and Snowboarding. There is a prize purse of AED 6 million on offer for them.
“The NAS Sports Tournament was launched seven years ago, under the guidance and patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the objective of promoting sport and attracting participants from the many different segments of our society,” said Salah Amin, Chairman of the Tournament’s Executive Committee.
“The Tournament has grown every year since to become one of the most important community sports initiative, embracing the many different segments of our diverse society. This year, as we celebrate the Year of Tolerance, we have expanded to 13 events and included cricket and snowboarding for the first time.
“We have seen more than 22,000 participants take part in the past six years of the NAS Sports Tournament, including 5,000 in 2018. This year, we will be seeing more than 6,500 participants take part. So, we are looking forward to 18 night of thrilling sports action that will keep fans entertained.”
As part of the opening ceremony, and to encourage and promote sports among People of Determination, there will be a Sitting Volleyball exhibition game, featuring players from countries around the region, including Egypt and Kazakhstan.
DEMAND FOR CRICKET
Meanwhile, the NAS Cricket T10 tournament, which is being held at the Wombats Cricket Ground in DP World, Jebel Ali (Gate 7), has been increased to 24 team from 12 following overwhelming demand. The 24 teams have been divided into eight groups of three each, with Emirates NBD Cricket Club, CPD Knight Riders and King Khalid being dawn in Group A, and Noor, AD Tigers and Chalhoub Group in Group B. Mideast Metals, Hadaf Sporting RAK and Wolf Pack CC comprise Group C, while The Cricketers Club, DP World and Velocity Cricket Club are in Group D.
Group E includes Wombats Cricket Club, MGM Cricket Club Sharjah and DCAS, while Titans Cricket Club, Abu Dhabi Cricket Lad and ASR Powered by Meritorious are in Group F. Cool Boys, Hamriya Kings and Rising Star Cricket Club Amshet have been drawn in Group G, and White Caps Cricket Club, Seamark Royals and DHL in Group H.
“This great interest in the NAS Cricket tournament is no surprise,” said Adil Yousif Albannay, Chairman of the NAS Sports Tournament’s Technical Committee. “Cricket is a hugely popular sport in UAE, especially among the South Asian expatriates and you can see them playing cricket everywhere.
“We are really happy to see the cricket community become a part of the NAS Sports Tournament and we are looking forward to a memorable tournament with 24 teams from across the country taking part and a total of 31 matches being played from May 7-22 at the Wombats Cricket Ground.”
Cricket is one of the two events added to the NAS Sports Tournament roster this year. The other is Ski and Snowboarding Championship.
“There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the Ski and Snowboarding championship at Ski Dubai as well,” said Albannay. “The men and women will be competing separately, under four different categories– Open, Under-16, Under-12 and Under-10, and there will medals for the top three in each category.”
One of the most popular and fun events on the UAE’s sporting calendar returns at the end of the month as the Beach Run comes to Dubai.
The Beach Run is the UAE’s only running event which happens on the beautiful sands of UAE’s beaches.
This year’s event is supported by Gatorade, Aquafina, Oakley and Emirates NBD.
With the location of the event being Sunset Beach it really makes the occasion unique and allows for the greatest views Dubai has to offer. Participants will be running under the gaze of the famous Burj Al Arab while being cheered on by the day’s beach goers. The event has been set up for families to enjoy but also challenges participants as running on sand adds another unique, fun yet testing dimension to the day.
On the day runners will have the option of three different distances which are 7.2km, 3.6km and 1.8km.
The Festival Village opens at 07:00, with the serious run (7.2km) getting under way an hour later at 08:00. The fun run (3.6km) is at 09:15 while the shorter family run (1.8km) starts at 10:30. The village closes at 12:00 midday.
Apart from the event itself, there is plenty to entertain participants and spectators alike on the day, including the festival village which will be packed with food, activities and sponsors activations.
Activities on the day will ensure participants of all ages will have plenty to do outside of the running races, including bouncy castles, football, volleyball, beach tennis, as well as an Alliance Academy activation.
It’s sure to be thirsty and hungry work and there will be many food outlets on site, including Costa Coffee, Ripe Market and Circuit Factory Food boxes will be available to all participants. Also, Al Rawabi and Optimum Nutrition will have stands offering their products to all.
Sponsors Gatorade, Aquafina, Oakley and Emirates NBD will be around on the day too and will add to the many activities available in the festival village.
Sponsors will also be giving prizes out throughout the morning, providing all runners with the opportunity to win.
Event fitness partner Fitness First will be in charge of the warmups for each of the races and brand ambassador Jennifer Chalouhi will also be conducting fitness classes throughout the morning.
To top it all off, there will be music and an MC that will add to the excitement of the day.
For further information on this year’s Beach Run, contact [email protected] or call 04 2434 377. Alternatively, click on the registration link at https://www.premieronline.com/event/beach_run_dxb_2019_4058.
What: Beach RunWhen: March 29
Where: Sunset Beach, opposite Umm Suqeim Park.
Contact: Email [email protected] or call 04 2434 377
Seven days of sporting achievement, thousands of athletes and volunteers, dozens of events, countless displays of bravery, and millions of smiles.
As the final curtain falls on Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the athletes, coaches, families and fans came together to not only celebrate successes on the field of play, but to also look forward to exciting future achievements.
Officials and dignitaries from the UAE and Special Olympics, including His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, as well as Khalfan Mohammad Al Mazrouei, managing director of the event and the president of Liberia, George Weah, led the celebrations.
Held at Zayed Sports City, the spectacular closing ceremony featured amazing performances by global superstars Keala Settle and Nicole Scherzinger.
Scherzinger opened the show with her latest song ‘Victorious’, written especially for the Special Olympics. The evening also saw Khaleeji idol Rashed Al Majed, Iraqi star Waleed Al Shami, and Emirati singer Hamad Al Ameri take to the stage.
The stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony seven days earlier, witnessed athletes, coaches and delegations take part in an inspirational parade around the arena as representatives from 200 nations bid a fond farewell to the UAE capital.
A special place at the heart of the closing ceremony was reserved for the scores of volunteers whose commitment and dedication ensured the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year ran smoothly each day.
All eyes in the stadium turned to the giant screens for the World Games Abu Dhabi legacy film. Featuring a host of athletes, fans and famous faces, the short film summarised the seven days of sporting excellence and celebration of the human spirit by promoting a positive story for the future through unity and inclusion.
Athletes from the UAE and Sweden, alongside two Sargent Shriver Global Messengers, conducted the ceremonial handover of the Special Olympics flag to Sweden who will host the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2021.
The Flame of Hope, which had burned brightly in its cauldron at Zayed Sports City since the opening ceremony, officially passed on in a moving ritual. The ceremony came to an end with a performance from Settle.
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was one of the largest, most inclusive, most unified, most diverse and most successful World Games in the history of Special Olympics.
Each achievement and much more were celebrated in a huge outpouring of happiness from the artists on stage that echoed displays of joy and emotion from every athlete, coach and spectator inside the stadium.