The Mubadala Tennis in Schools program, an inspirational grassroots community initiative championed and sponsored by Mubadala was launched this week in partnership with Zayed Sports City and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).
With the aim of generating positive impact in the community at its core, the program supports ADEK’s efforts in complementing the theoretical curriculum of schools with physical education to help pupils build confidence and self-esteem and develop well-rounded individuals.
The program gives pupils aged 7-10 from across local schools the chance to take their first steps in the sport by introducing them to mini-tennis within physical education lessons.
Created to ensure a legacy for the sporting youth of the UAE, the program will be integrated into the physical education curriculum of participating schools, delivering even more excitement and expert training to young students across Abu Dhabi.
Twelve schools will receive three visits throughout the program from professional international tennis coaches, who will host sessions with pupils and their physical education teachers to enhance the quality of tennis coaching available in schools.
In addition, there will be tennis training nights at Zayed Sports City for pupils who have shown commitment and perseverance throughout the program, while every Friday, Zayed Sports City will ensure access without charge for pupils and their families to use the courts .
The initiative also provides schools with mobile mini-tennis kits so there are no barriers to practice, and that pupils have the gear they need to take their tennis skills to the next level.
Upon the completion of the program, a tennis festival will be held and will feature a tournament between schools to put their tennis skills to the test during the finale.
This will take place on the Center Court at Zayed Sport City and will see the culmination of months of hard-work and dedication, from young boys and girls come to life.
With the aim of inspiring young talent to continue a sustainable interest in sports, two participants from the program will be rewarded with a scholarship by Zayed Sports City to their tennis academy.
The initiative has already seen success stories with J. Anurag Reddy discovered during the Mubadala Tennis in Schools program and going on to be a multiple winner and finalist of the Mubadala Community Cup tournaments.
“We are extremely proud to partner with ADEK and Zayed Sports City to support schools with the promotion of physical and health education and the opportunity for pupils to participate in tennis at school, whilst increasing their activity levels, confidence and competence to succeed in the sport,” commented Saoud Karmastaji, Assistant Manager – Outreach, Group Communications at Mubadala.
Mr. Nasser Khamis, Head of Extracurricular Activities at Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, pointed out that “ADEK is keen to support the Mubadala Tennis in Schools initiative which aims to promote tennis as a sport amongst school students amongst the future generation, while identifying talents and developing skills.
“The initiative reflects ADEK’s keenness to provide Emirati students with exciting opportunities in order to help explore their talents and produce champions in various sports.”
“Zayed Sports City has a fondness for tennis and we are eager to share it through the Mubadala Tennis in Schools program,” said Tony Kouris, General Manager at Zayed Sports City
“The opportunity to engage the children in this sport in so many ways – such as in their schools, at our facilities and through the passion of our ZSC Academy coaches – is a great step in supporting their development and establishing lifelong healthy habits.
“We are very proud to be leading this program alongside Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.”
For most people running just one marathon is enough, but Dr Khaled Al Suwaidi is taking his powers of endurance to new levels all in the fight against cancer.
On Saturday, Al Suwaidi is due to set off on an incredible 327km ‘The Rahma Run’ attempt – roughly the equivalent of running nearly eight marathons back to back.
He will kick-off his ultra run from Fujairah Terminals and end at Zayed Port – a logistics partner of the event – in Abu Dhabi.
The gruelling challenge will help raise funds for Cancer Patient Care Society – Rahma and the 34-year-old is expected to complete it in around 60-80 hours, meaning he will finish either on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Despite scaling the UAE’s 1,200m high Jebel Hafeet mountain up and down in one day last month, becoming the first Emirati to do so, he has never previously run a marathon but has taken on the challenge to raise awareness of how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Indeed, three years ago, he weighed 125kg and was told by doctors he was likely to become a diabetic in the future.
But the executive director at Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research managed to turn his life around.
“I can’t wait to get started. All of my training has been leading up to this moment and I just want to get out there and start running,” he said ahead of the challenge.
“Throughout this journey, I’ve been spurred on by the amazing people involved with Rahma and their stories will hopefully help carry me from one coast to another.”
Dr. Khaled will be accompanied by his coach, a physiotherapist, a paramedic and chef, who will travel in an RV on the route and have the additional support of two safety cars.
Team F3-K headed by top Emirati falconer Khalifa Bin Mijren ruled the roost on the first day of the Fazza Championship for Falconry – Telwah in Dubai Tuesday.
Organised and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), F3-K clocked the fastest times in all three disciplines (Trophy, Car and Cash) of the Jeer Shaheen Farkh event in the Sheikhs category to kick-off the event in style.
Al Dhafra Falcons team and YLS shared the honours in the Jeer Shaheen Jernas event in the Sheikhs category.
The first day of competition under the new format in which every event is a final saw the participation of more than 180 falcons of the highest quality.
Team F3-K began the Trophy event in style clocking the day’s fastest time of 17.824 seconds setting the pace in brilliant sunshine with its maiden entry. Al Dhafra Falcons team were in the running for second place after their entry clocked 17.891 seconds, but were upstaged by another F3-K team entry which clocked 17.833, just 0.009 seconds off the winner’s pace.
In an ominous sign of what to expect during the next fortnight, Khalifa Bin Mijrin said the falcons were not so fast because it is the first race of the season.
“Some of the falcons are just warming up. It is a new season. They can go faster than this. However, there will be tough competition in every race with fractions of seconds separating the winners as seen in this race,” said Khalifa Bin Mijrin after winning the opening event.
In the Cars category, a keen tussle for supremacy was witnessed between F3-K and Al Dhafra Falcons.
F3-K entry 81Madrid soared to victory in the Jeer Shaheen Farkh (Cars) in the Sheikhs category clocking the best time of 18.183 seconds after another F3-K entry set the pace clocking 18.504. Al Dhafra Falcons team had the satisfaction of grabbing second place when their entry clocked 18.213, just .030 seconds off the winner’s pace.
Team F3-K swept the first three places Jeer Shaheen Farkh (Cash) event in the Sheikhs category.
F3-K were finally upstaged by YLS team in the Jeer Shaheen Jernas (Trophy) event in the Sheikhs category, winning the race in 17.508 seconds.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, said the change in the tournament format has produced a high standard of competition and more professionalism.
She said: “We begin 2018 with full of optimism in the ‘Year of Sheikh Zayed’ and have a big responsibility to achieve success in heritage-based championships. Our challenge is to achieve our goals and realize our vision by showing the best of our culture and showcase Emirati culture through sports. We have provided the best facilities for the falcons and falconers to show their full potential.”