Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), has hailed the role of sports in building up a healthy community within the country.

Speaking on the eve of the opening of the Sixth Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament that was inaugurated at the NAS Sports Complex late on Thursday, Shaikh Hamdan said that sports is the key to spreading happiness apart from keeping members of society healthy and contented.

He also said that promoting a healthy society through the regular practice of sports is among the objectives listed in the Dubai Plan 2021. This priority has given rise to a number of initiatives that encourage people to take up sports and adopt it as a way of life.

“Following the success of the Dubai Fitness Challenge and the Gov Games initiative, we are happy to see thousands of athletes participating in the NAS Sports Tournament, including people of determination. We are also happy with the increased number of participants and the participation of Egypt and Jordan, which will further boost ties between our nations. This event will help promote a bigger role for sports in society and our daily lives,” Shaikh Hamdan pointed out.

The annual NAS Sports Tournament that will kick off on Friday with the volleyball and padel competitions, will conclude with the futsal final on June 6. The event is being organised by DSC under the theme ‘Limitless Capabilities’.

Shaikh Hamdan welcomed participants in the tournament, saying that the participation of more than 5,000 athletes in various sports already reflects the success of the event. “All these participants are winners. Anyone who practices sports is a winner,” Shaikh Hamdan said.

Jiu-Jitsu and 3x3 basketball are the two new sporting disciplines added to the sixth edition of the annual multi-discipline tournament. The 3x3 basketball will take place at the arena outside Festival City Mall from May 18 to 21, while the one-off Jiu-Jitsu competition will be held at the NAS Sports Complex on June 1.

This year, a total of 11 sports events will be held during the course of three weeks with the tournament kicking off with volleyball, futsal, padel, fencing, night challenge, the 5-km and 10-km road runs, a 75-km cycle race and wheelchair basketball.