7th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament begins today - GulfToday

7th Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament begins today

Nad Al Sheba

The seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament will see more than 6,500 participants in action over the coming 18 days in 13 different events.

Bigger and better with two new sports to boast, the seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament will kick off on Tuesday with a glittering opening ceremony at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, starting 10pm.

Organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of 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, 3x3 Basketball, Jiu-Jitsu, Cricket and Snowboarding. There event carries a prize purse of Dhs6 million.

“The NAS Sports Tournament was launched seven years ago, under the guidance and patronage of Sheikh Hamdan 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.

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 teams 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, which will be held at Ski Dubai on May 10. The Alpine Ski competition will start from 5pm and the Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding competition from 8.30pm.

“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.”

Registration is still open for the NAS Snowboarding championship and will close on May 8. Registration for NAS Cycling will also be open until May 11, while the last date for registration in the NAS Jiu-Jitsu championship is May 20.