Abu Dhabi Figure Skating Team in action during their training session at Abu Dhabi Ice Rink in Zayed Sports City. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Despite the fact that it was a Saturday, which for many is typically part of the weekend, members of the Abu Dhabi Figure Skating Team were hard at work, rehearsing for several hours for their up-coming fourth annual figure skating event, which is being held under the theme of "Night at the Oscars".

"When I heard about this year's theme, I thought that it sounded fun ... it's very interesting to be able to play different characters during the performance," said Zahra Eari, a 15-year-old UAE national who has been skating for five years.

The group, whose members range in age from as young as five, up to 30 years old, has been rehearsing intensely since January, at least three times a week. Several dedicated members even arrive early in the morning to practice before heading off to school.

"I've been coaching the Abu Dhabi Figure Skating team for four and a half years now ... they're an amazing team. Even though there's competition between them, it's a fair one and they are all very close to each other," Noemi Bedo, Head Coach at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, said

At the moment the team has approximately 50 members, 43 of whom are skating and around 10 or 15 beginners who are working to get onto the team. Increased popularity of the team also means that there are 100 people who are on their waiting list.

"The Abu Dhabi Figure Skating Team was established in 2005 by Jane Sulaiman, who is from the UK. Sadly, she passed away last year and her death was a big shock to all of us. But we began moving on and now are focusing on increasing awareness about the team and our events ... we're hoping to start a club and even become a Federation," Noemi said. "It would also be great if we could expand our coaching team to be able to meet demand for lessons and other things."

At a glance

  • What: Night at the Oscars
  • When: Friday, April 30, 2010, 4.30pm
  • Where: Zayed Sports City Ice Rink
  • Who: Abu Dhabi Figure Skating Team
  1. Tickets: Dh75 per adult, Dh50 for school age children (18 years old and below), special rate for school groups of 20 or more members: Dh30 per person, 1 chaperone ticket free for every 20 tickets.
  2. Telephone: 02 4448458