Sport | Other Sports

Ramadan festival attracts 3,000 athletes

Armed Forces event set to be a gala affair again

  • By Yasir Abbasher, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 July 19, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News Archives
  • Lieutenant General Mohammad Hilal Al Kaabi announce the Ramadan Sports Festival at the Armed Forces Officers Club.

Abu Dhabi: Around 3,000 athletes will compete in the 16th annual Armed Forces Officers Club (ADAFOC) Ramadan Sports Festival, to be held from Sunday until August 5.

“The unprecedented success of the tournament event in the past 15 years was a proof of the status of the festival in the region after attracting top athletes to take part in the tournament,” said Lieutenant General Mohammad Hilal Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ADAFOC and Head of the Organising Committee, at a press conference on Monday.

“I believe that despite this year’s tournament coinciding with the London Olympic Games, it will still witness some of the best athletes in the area.”

The athletes will compete in football (men and women), jiu jitsu (men), chess (men and women) judo (men) shooting (men and women) and bowling (men). There will also be PlayStation game competitions.

“The festival has always been an opportunity to discover new talent and to help the youngsters polish their capabilities by playing against top athletes, especially in bowling,” said Mohammad Khalifa Al Qubaisi, Chairman of the UAE Bowling Federation.

“The opening ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, July 24, and the main theme of the show will be to express our gratitude, as the youth of the UAE, to our leadership.” Dr Al Kaabi said.

“We expect more than 3000 athletes from more than 45 countries to take part in the festival this year and our preparation for the event is completed.

“There are big prizes for the winners and valuable prizes including three cars from Al Futtaim Motors to the spectators in the raffle draws which will be held every night.”

The press conference was also attended by Fahad Ali, representative of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Salah Al Salloumi, the tournament director, Dr Musabbah Al Kaabi, the general coordinator, Amal Bu Shallakh, the chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee, Omar Salem Al Ameri from Ammroc and Mohammad Hassan from Al Futtaim Motors.

“We are grateful and lucky with the great emphasis which our leaders give to the sector of youth and sports in the UAE which yeilded many international victories,” Ali said.

The five-a-side football competition will be contested between 24 teams divided into six groups with the two top teams from each group and the four best third-placed teams reaching the second round while ten teams will compete in the women’s competition divided into two groups with the top two from each group reaching the semi-finals.