Selection of talented students for 5th UAE School Olympics begins

DUBAI, 22nd January, 2017 (WAM) — The UAE NOC has kick-started the initial phase of selecting talented students for the 5th School Olympics programme throughout the UAE. The process, which lasts four days, covers all sports entered in the programme with the aim of identifying the best talent and grooming them in training centres across the nation.

This comes in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the NOC and Chairman of the Higher committee for School Olympics, to select talented male and female students, and offer them all the resources needed to improve their skills and point them in the direction to utilising their abilities properly.

The fifth edition of the School Olympics comprises nine games: athletics, swimming, judo, taekwondo, fencing, archery, shooting, badminton (added for the first time), and Jiu-Jitsu.

Dawood Al Hajri, Head of the Executive Office of the School Olympics, stressed the importance of selecting the right elements before embarking on the training process in order to ensure the selection of talented and fit students for each game. “Selection will be made on the bases of tests conducted by specialists at the Ministry of Education under the supervision of the NOC and in collaboration with national sports federations. This will enable us identify the aptitudes of our children for joining training centres on their own accord and wish to enhance their knowledge and practice of games, which will be undertaken by training centres across the UAE. Such a stage will take place in the near future before the final phase of selection in Dubai,” he said.

Al Hajri said that he was delighted with the rising number of students affiliated to the programme, which is indicative of the wider reach of the programme and a testament to its success in nurturing the excitement of challenge and fair competition amongst youngsters.

Jafar Ibrahim, Arab Champion 2010 and Head of Badminton Improvement in the UAE tasked by the International Federation, said that once entered in the Olympic Schools Programme, the game went through a quantum shift in spreading the sport amongst the community.

“Badminton is one of the easy-practiced games indoors and depends on the intelligence of the player. The Olympic Schools Programme offers a large base of students from whom we can identify those who have the potential of making good players. The game has captured the attention of teachers who were keen to know about it and is privileged by technical support from the federation. It is hoped to develop male and female players to represent the UAE in the 2028 Olympics, which promises a great future for the game in the UAE in a short span of time,” said Jafar.

Highlighting the specifications required in students, Jafar said, “They have to be quick, agile and able to take decisions as well as the intellectual aspects such as the thinking. The game is heavily dependent on intelligence that helps the student to deal, control and anticipate the location of the shuttlecock, which is recognised as the fasted object in all sports, clocking speeds of up to 450 km/h, which requires high degree of concentration and quick action.”