Sport | Other Sports

NOC agrees to set up weightlifting centre

EWF boss delighted as UAE Olympic chiefs agree in principle to new training facility

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 18:23 May 29, 2014
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) has agreed in principle to set up a specialised training centre for weightlifting in the country.

The governing body for sports in the UAE, which met this week following the conclusion of the second UAE School Olympic Games, agreed that the UAE needs a specialised centre to tap the huge potential of its athletes.

The weightlifting agreements was one of the announcements made at the end of the UAE NOC’s annual meeting of all sports associations and federations at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel late on Wednesday.

As per the Emirates Weightlifting Federation’s (EWF) proposal, the training centre will have separate facilities for boys and girls in all age categories. The UAE NOC board of directors earmarked a financial package for the same in its annual budget.

“Such a specialised centre is very much the need of the hour for an ambitious sports nation like the UAE,” Faisal Al Hammadi, General Secretary of the EWF, told Gulf News.

“Weightlifting is one of the basic sporting disciplines that are essential in the formation of sportspersons. While body agility and muscle control can come from being involved in gymnastics, body strength can be obtained from weightlifting. So we need this centre as soon as possible and, once it comes up, it will be a dream come true for all sportspersons in the UAE.”

Approval for a new centre could not have come at a better time, as Al Shabab Club has already requested the EWF to vacate its temporary premises.

“For the time being we have managed to move to Salahuddin Hall, but we need a permanent place where our athletes can practice on a regular basis,” Al Hammadi said. “Weightlifting is an Olympic sport capable of bringing in medals for the UAE and we should have been paying attention to this long back. But it’s never too late.”

Earlier, Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health, accepted an invitation from Prince Nawaf Bin Faisal to attend the GCC Games in Saudi Arabia in 2015.