Mohammed Bin Zayed receives the delegation of the summer programme of the Jiu-Jitsu organised in Jordan. WAM
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on Monday received a delegation of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme for Syrians displaced by war as well as the UAE Jiu-Jitsu team who recently won the 4th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championship, hosted in Mongolia in July.
Sheikh Mohamed congratulated the champs along with their technical and managerial staffs, noting that the dear win adds to the track record of sports distinction boasted by the UAE nationals regionally and internationally.
He expressed delight at the growing response and popularity enjoyed by this discipline of martial arts, which, he said, exacts high levels of endurance, dedication and strength, and ultimately contributes to grooming powerful and psychologically balanced generations capable of delivering the future for their nation.
The players expressed their happiness at meeting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and appreciated his interest in the national sports sector in general and jiu-jitsu in particular.
The meting was attended by Sheikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance.
The UAE National Jiu Jitsu Team won the Asian championship after snatching 11 medals, including four golds, one silver and six bronzes.
The Mohamed Bin Zayed Jiu-Jitsu Programme, supported by UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Palms Sports and Etihad Airways, ran from July 14 to Aug. 8.
Under the programme, Emirati teenagers spent part of their summer living in the UAE-run Mrajeeb Al Fhood camp to teach jiu-jitsu to Syrians displaced by war.
The camp, which is supported by the Emirates Red Crescent, is home to almost 6,000 refugees.
Emirati pupils are assisting professional black-belt coaches, with two groups of 15 teenagers having lived in the camp for two weeks at a time, sharing meals and other facilities with those who have fled the war.
Last month, UAE hero Faisal Al Ketbi won the gold medal in the open Men’s under 85kg competition while his UAE Falcons team-mates claimed three bronze medals at the Asian Championship which was held in Ulaanbaatar.
At the Central Sports Palace, Ketbi showed his dominance at the mat, beating his Kyrgyzstan’s rival with eight points to nothing, while Yahya Al Hammadi and Sultan Al Ali claimed bronze in the over 94 kg category and Mohamed Ali Alsuwaidi picked up a medal at under 69 kg weight.
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Falcons squad features 23 of the country’s best athletes from five jiu-jitsu clubs across the UAE, including Al Ain, Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Baniyas and Team 777.
After claiming 14 medals at the Kazakhstan Jiu-Jitsu Grand Prix, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Falcons were in a confident mood in Mongolia.
With 349 entries from 21 nations across Asia, the event was the most competitive edition to date, demonstrating the growing strength and popularity of jiu-jitsu across the continent.
Six UAE male stars were in action across four weight categories on day one and Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union general secretary Fahad Ali Al Shamsi congratulated the UAE athletes for a successful opening day.
Ketbi dedicated his gold to the wise UAE leadership, stressing that it was the least he had to offer to the country, the people and the leadership. He put the difficult journey towards gold down to his desire to raise the UAE flag as a champion.
Ketbi said: “We have highlighted that the UAE is always at the forefront of the Asian continent and this is what we are trying to accomplish on the mat from one tournament to another.
“The future is bright, and the UAE will achieve more Jiu-Jitsu continental and global triumphs.”
The championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will take place from 20th to 26th April at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi.
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