Salem Yousef Al Qaseer poses for a photographs with players in Sharjah.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
The organisers of the third Labour Sports Tournament have urged Sharjah clubs to tap the talent showcased by teams during the event.
With an aim to promote healthy lifestyle among blue-collar workers in the emirate, the third edition of the Labour Sports Tournament, organised by Labour Standards Development Authority (LSDA) in Sharjah, started on Dec.13, 2019, and was supposed to come to an end on March 27, but was halted due to coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament witnessed fierce competition in football, basketball, cricket, volleyball and hockey, with more than 2,000 participants taking to the field in the more than three-month long competition.
Such was the enthusiasm among the workers that 30 teams registered for the football tournament, while 33 teams battled for honours in cricket. The basketball and volleyball events saw 21 teams each in competition, while 15 teams took part in the hockey competition.
The LSDA organised the tournament in cooperation with the Sharjah Sports Council and the Reach Target company for sports services.
The matches were held every Friday at the Sharjah Sports Council Stadiums in Sharjah National Park, opposite Sharjah International Airport.
Talking exclusively to Gulf Today, Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Chairman of Labour Standards Development Authority in Sharjah, hailed the unwavering support of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to enhance the labour environment.
The Labour Standards Development Authority in the emirate was established under the directives of Sheikh Sultan.
“The Labour Sports Tournament aims to make sports a lifestyle for the working class, as well as serve as a mechanism to entertain themselves by practising different sports.
“All these values are an integral part of LSDA’s strategy that has been developed under the direct supervision of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council,” Qaseer said.
Qaseer also hailed the talent that was on show at the tournament and said: “I urge clubs in Sharjah to launch a scouting programme to tap the talent, who have impressed us all with their performance during the tournament.
“After witnessing their performance, I strongly believe that a few of them have huge potential which can be honed further by clubs based in Sharjah.
“They demonstrated superb skills and physical fitness, and possess the technical ability to become professional players in the future if they get proper training, which could fast-track their journey towards professional careers nationally and internationally.” Expressing his delight over the success of the tournament, Qaseer added: “This tournament, the first of its kind, also aims to promote teamwork among workers being the pillar of sports.
“Sport brings together individuals and societies regardless of their nationalities and ethnicities. It plays an important role in developing a spirit of cooperation and competition, and promotes teamwork.” Cash prizes and gifts amounting to Dhs250,000 were on offer in the tournament.
“Although it is in its third edition, the tournament has managed to establish a strong fan base, indicating the positive impact it has on the employers and workers alike,” he added.
The organisers also have plans to make it bigger in future editions.
“In the future editions, we will ask the workers from across the UAE to take part in the tournament. As this time not only private, even government entities participated,” said the chairman of Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority.
Meanwhile, the participating teams lauded Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority for giving them the chance to prove their mettle through the Labour Sports Tournament.
Ahmed Sulaiman, representing Emirates Steeldooring Company, took part in the competition for the first time but was full of praise for the organising committee.
He said: “Such labour sports events serve as a bridge to increase cooperation, whilst deepening the relationship between labourers and employers.” Mohammed Iman, who took part in the football tournament, echoed the same sentiments and said: “Events like this make the lives of the labourers active, it also aims to enrich the spirit of sports among the participants.”
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