UAE

Autism Mom Dubai's April McCabe brings joy into her son's life through basketball

Hiba Khan - Writer 17:09 17/10/2019
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As the UAE aims to emerge as the world’s friendliest place for ‘people of determination’, expatriates are making valuable contributions to make society more inclusive for everyone.

One such expat is April McCabe who moved to Dubai due to her husband’s job in the Emirates in 2008.

The Tennessee native started a blog called Autism Mom Dubai five years ago to raise awareness about the condition, where she also shares snippets of her eldest son, Owen, to give everyone a glimpse of what it’s like for people who live with this condition and for their caregivers.

Through her blog, McCabe got in touch with other women who were also raising children like Owen.


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With the help of other parents, McCabe started a basketball programme to help with the behavioural development of the kids and invited neurotypical teenagers to volunteer at the programme, allowing children with special needs to interact with typical peers that they otherwise don’t get a chance to do so with at their schools.


“We started the basketball about three years ago and I started this so my son could interact and socialise with typical peers,” McCabe told Sport360. “It helps them with gross motor skills, motor planning and co-ordination. Regular therapy can also help children with these skills, but it’s just not as fun.”


McCabe and all the other mothers could see a marked development in their child’s behavior and also found that the children looked forward to these sessions, therefore it was all-in-all, a great success.


However, the sessions proved to be helpful for the young volunteers as well who slowly began demonstrating higher human qualities that reflected in their own lives.


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“We had a kid who was about to be kicked out from school, but one day the principal came to me and said that she didn’t know what I did, but that child had totally turned around and was being given an award for ‘most improved’. So, things like that really keep me going,” said McCabe.


“Also, how great it is that we have these teenagers, who could be doing anything else, but they come here every Friday consistently to volunteer. It really touches me,” an emotional McCabe added.


14-year-old Finn Bruchet regularly volunteers along with his brothers and insists that not only has it improved his own game but has taught him to communicate better and how to help others.


“It (volunteering) has really helped me with my self-confidence and taught me how to communicate and help my peers. Also, there is a sense of accomplishment in helping others who don’t have as much as you do,” the youngster said.


The group currently trains under coach Petros Krasopoulos, who is a professional coach at the Prestige Star Sports Academy (PSSA). The biggest challenge for him is to make sure that the children listen and follow his orders.


He said: “The main thing is to make sure that the kids stay focused and follow my orders. The volunteers help with that, but it is a challenge. The other challenge is to improve their physical skills and then comes actually working on the basketball fundamentals, like dribbling, passing, etc.


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“By the end of the year we will try to get another academy to play a friendly match with the children. To be honest, we are a little far from this, but we will definitely try and make it happen.”.


McCabe is in the process of getting kits made for the children to make them feel like a proper team.


The basketball session is held every Friday, 5pm at Dunecrest American School.


For more information on the programme and to stay up to date with their activities, you can follow Autism Mom Dubai on Instagram and Facebook.



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UAE

Sharjah Women Sports launch Sports Future Pioneer’s Diploma to hone UAE talents in sports management

Hiba Khan - Writer 00:51 10/10/2019
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UAE is always one step ahead when it comes to honing their homegrown talents, be it athletics or the management side of things.

Hence as part of their efforts, Sharjah Women’s Sports has announced the launch of the Sports Future Pioneer’s Diploma.

It is a first-of-its-kind certificate course available in the region and seeks to empower, develop and shape the local sports sector for women under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of SWSF, in partnership with Sharjah Sports Council and Sharjah Media.

The diploma is a 6-months course, a total of 150 hours, that involves workshops and training sessions on communication, media engagement and strategic leadership and governance in sports organization and there are 25 women who are participating in the program.


According to Dr. Husam Barakat, program instructor and the director of training at Al Roya TV in Jordan, the course will allow greater integration of women not just as athletes but as managers to create functional institutions that will drive the sporting scene forward in the region.








“This program is about learning high skills of dealing with sports media,” said Dr. Barakat, “Emirati girls are really smart, but we need to give them proper training so they know how to conduct themselves and communicate effectively to get their ideas heard and use the right channels to execute them for smooth operation of the sporting sector.”


23-year-old Ghalia Abdullah Al Mazmi, senior officer of International Relations for the UAE national Olympic committee and is one of the participants of the program, insists that the program has allowed her to learn more in one session than you can ever learn in a month.


“It has always been my passion to be involved in sports management and this program equips you with the right skills to become leaders in the sector,” Al Mazmi told Sport360.


“The course is very informative, interactive and it’s a lot of fun, so I have learned more through a single session than I could have over a month,” she added.


Mey Ahmed Al Naqbi, Assistant Admin officer of Sharjah Women’s Sports, stressed the importance of these programs to increase the number of women in the sector and insists that the royal family’s support has been vital in empowering Emirati girls.


“As you know, there are not that many women in the sports management side and that has been primarily due to the culture, but things are changing and even our leaders are encouraging us to step up and contribute to the progress of our society,” said Al Naqbi.


The participants of the ‘Sports Future Pioneers’ diploma is part of a recruitment process and at the end of the program, which is in March 2020, the participants will be hired to serve in various sporting organizations in the UAE.



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UAE

Women Ban-Co Basketball Championship ready to get underway

David Cooper - Writer 09:34 07/10/2019
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A new basketball tournament is ready to tip-off in Dubai.

After the huge success of the “Battle of the Banks” Basketball Men’s Championship 2017 in Dubai that included 8 teams from United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, Sports Mania now are the forefront of a female version of the event.

Under the ‘Women Empowerment’ slogan, and with the support of Dubai Sports Council and UAE Basketball Association, Sports Mania in collaboration with All In Sports are now organising the 1st edition of “Women Ban-Co” Basketball Championship 2019 in Dubai.

The championship will be played from 8 October till 12 October, at Hartland International School in Dubai, and will consist of 4 teams from Lebanon and UAE:
Banque Du Liban, and Blom bank from Lebanon, Emirates Airlines, and American University in Dubai from the UAE.

The first day of the championship will witness two competitive games between BDL and Emirates Airlines at 8:15pm, and American University in Dubai and Blom Bank at 9:15pm.

WhatsApp Image 2019-10-06 at 14.55.05

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