Virus cannot dilute UAE’s sporting spirit - GulfToday

Virus cannot dilute UAE’s sporting spirit


The photo has been used for illustraitve purposes.

While the rest of the world is struggling to cope with COVID-19, the UAE has not only taken stupendous steps to control the pandemic, but also retained its sporting spirit.

Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC Champion, has rightly commended the 12th edition of UAE Warriors held in the jiu-jitsu arena at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

The tournament involved ten matches, with nine featuring men and one involving women.

In his words: “The UAE is continuing to impress the world by organising UAE Warriors during the current circumstances that pose significant challenges, especially in light of the suspension of international sporting activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The efforts of the committee to invite and receive competitors while following all precautionary measures, as well as quarantining them in a hotel, providing training facilities and transportation buses, conducting regular medical tests and offering appropriate services to all organisers and referees over three weeks is indeed commendable.

On another front, people-to-people engagement between the UAE and India will soar to new heights when the Indian Premier League, IPL, cricket matches this year will be taken out of India and played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.

The IPL is a professional Indian sports league which has millions of fans in India, the sub-continent and in the Gulf. It is normally played in eight cities in India in April-May every year. The League’s brand value is informally estimated at $ 6.7 billion. This will be the second time that the IPL will be played in the UAE. In 2014, fearing disruptions to the games on account of India’s parliamentary elections during the IPL season, the BCCI split the games into two phases.

The first phase was played at three stadia in the UAE, but the second phase, including the final, was held in India after the voting was over.

During the playoff week of the 53-day tournament, the IPL governing council decided on Sunday, the Women’s T20 Challenge will take place in UAE featuring four matches among three teams.

Earlier, the National Olympic Committee, NOC, unveiled three initiatives for the next Olympic period, following a webinar held to examine the national and international Olympic movement during the post-coronavirus future.

Initiatives launched during the event, which was remotely organised by the NOC and attended by 500 participants from sports and media organisations, were focused on the launch of the University Olympics, Olympic heritage and Foreign Communities Olympics.

The University Olympics is the first Olympic Games to be held among the universities in the United Arab Emirates.

The second initiative relates to the Olympic legacy, and includes strengthening the Olympic legacy of the UAE, in coordination with various sports bodies.

It covers developing the economies of Olympic sports, coordinating with stakeholders to boost the infrastructure of the Olympic Movement, and inculcating the principles of the Olympic Movement among community members. The Community Olympics initiative echoes the UAE’s vision of promoting integration and harmony among all members of the UAE society, and applying the principles of the International Olympic Charter in a non-discriminatory manner in sports.

These initiatives were introduced during the Webinar, which was opened by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Secretary-General of the NOC, and a host of speakers and participants, including officials and stakeholders of the national Olympic Movement.

The UAE’s resilience and sporting spirit serves as a model for the rest of the world.

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