UAE Rugby have announced on Tuesday that their all-Emirati Al Maha girls team will compete in the upcoming 2017 Asia Rugby U17 Sevens Girls Tournament.
The event will take place at Dubai Sports City’s Rugby Park on Wednesday November 29, and Thursday November 30, with the UAE side joining teams from Japan, India, Laos, Kazakhstan, Iran, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, China, Thailand and Malaysia.
UAE have been drawn into Pool B alongside Kazakhstan and Iran.
Fresh from their invaluable experience at the Paris World Games last July, UAE’s Al Maha girls have been focusing on developing their skills under the federation’s RDO manager, Sami Smara, Girls RDO Amira ben Fikh Ali and new RDO recruit Fabian Mark.
Qais Al Dhalai, Secretary General of the UAE Rugby Federation said: “We are incredibly proud of the progress that the UAERF has been through since we hosted the first edition of the tournament in 2016, the tournament is considered as one of the UAERF’s professional and long-term strategic objectives which has now proven to be a milestone for growing and promoting the women’s sport by increasing the number of teams from six (2016) to 12 (2017).
“Participating in tournaments such as the Paris World Games, and the Asia Rugby U17’s provides the Emirati girls with a solid platform to develop their skills and grow their confidence (on the pitch).”
“The sport of Rugby is still new to Emirati females and we are encouraged by how they have embraced the game and remain committed to becoming more effective, efficient players.” “These ladies are true pioneers and role models for our sport across the UAE, we congratulate them and wish them a very successful, and rewarding tournament.”
Al Maha were treated to a very special guest at their final training session on Tuesday, November 28, where Fijian-great and rugby-favourite, Waisale Serevi led the girls through various fun, interactive drills.
“I was extremely happy to be invited to spend time with the U17 girls at this training session,” Serevi said. “Sami and his team have done a great job over the past year, from what the girls have shown today.
“The UAE U17 girls playing in this type of tournament is amazing and what we, as a rugby family, need to see and it shows that rugby is growing at the youth level. I am delighted to be a part of growing this game and look forward to seeing these girls represent their country at a higher level in the future.”
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