Dubai: Nearly 400 players are expected to compete in the inaugural Etisalat Academy Badminton Festival, which will be held at the Etisalat Academy campus off Emirates Road here from November 15 to 30.
The competition, open to all UAE residents, involves players in 17 different age categories, starting with under-12s and going up to men’s veterans, for those over 45 years.
It is an initiative of the Etisalat Academy Sports and Leisure Club, with the aim of popularising sports and physical activities within the community and has the backing of the Dubai Sports Council.
“Our core mission is to get this sport elevated to a higher level so that the community benefits,” David Brennan, General Manager of the Etisalat Academy Sports and Leisure Club, told media yesterday.
“The idea is to get as many enthusiasts out there [as possible] so that the society at large can deal with modern-day ills such as obesity and diabetes and move towards a healthier lifestyle.”
Nasser Al Rahma, Director of the Community and Private Sector Department at DSC, said: “Through this effort we want to be of assistance to the Dubai Sports Council in meeting the strategies and goals laid down by the authorities as per the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“Such competitions and involvement from the corporate sector can only help us meet the goals envisaged by our leaders in making our workplaces and our homes and community healthier.”
The Etisalat Academy Sports and Leisure Club organised its inaugural ABA Cup in 2010, attracting a field of 167 players. Additionally, the academy has been hosting an activities-oriented summer camp for children since 2000.
“For us it is about giving something back to the community we live and operate in,” said Abdullah Mohammad Al Falasi, Etisalat’s Senior Manager, HR Department.
“This tournament is a good start and hopefully we can do something bigger and better in the future.”
Entry for players is free and more information may be obtained from the official website at www.etac.ae/badmintonfest