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As part of Abu Dhabi Cricket’s ongoing transformation into a world-class multi-sport community hub, eight new 5-a-side football pitches have been constructed within the facility’s grounds. All of the Astroturf football courts will be floodlit and will be available for individual bookings from Sunday 18th March.

The community sporting event hosted 47 free activities and celebrated the Year of Tolerance and Abu Dhabi’s upcoming hosting of the Special Olympics World Games. 4,500 school children from 40 schools resulted in the largest single site UAE National Sports Day celebration to date

Abu Dhabi, Tuesday 11th March 2019 – With 6,146 attendees, 4,500 school children taking part and 47 free activities on offer, Abu Dhabi Cricket delivered the largest ever UAE National Sports Day celebration to date.

UAE National Sports Day is an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, to promote sport throughout the country.

The ‘Walk for Tolerance’ saw 1,400 members of the community, Abu Dhabi Police force, children from 40 schools, Special Olympics athletes, VIPs and dignitaries walk 2.5km around Abu Dhabi Cricket’s multi-sport facilities. The walk was led by Dr. Mai Al Jaber, Chairwoman of the UAE National Sports Day Committee and His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, together with a mounted unit of the Abu Dhabi Police and the Abu Dhabi Police band.

The ‘Walk for Tolerance’ finished with a stunning show from Skydive Dubai, as six parachutists and a daring wingsuit leader glided graciously into the iconic Zayed Cricket Stadium carrying celebratory flags of the United Arab Emirates, Year of Tolerance, Special Olympics World Games and the UAE National Sports Day.

The air display was a true reflection of the spirit of UAE National Sports Day.

"We were very excited to be skydiving into Zayed Cricket Stadium, one of the UAE’s iconic sporting venues, in honor of this celebration of sport and wellbeing. The crowd was fantastic! Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket have done an amazing job in hosting UAE National Sports Day in the Capital, as well as promoting sport and adrenaline activities to kids and adults alike.”

Lead Parachutist, Darren Burke

Following the ‘Walk for Tolerance,’ Abu Dhabi Cricket was honored by the arrival of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member, Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Cricket. His Excellency toured the numerous activities spending time with the children and taking photos with the crowd. His Excellency then visited The Spartan Race where he discussed the merits of keeping fit and challenging yourself, whilst later indulged the Abu Dhabi Chess and Culture Club by demonstrating his chess skills on their oversized chess board, indicating that challenging the mind is just as important as challenging the body.

"It was amazing to see His Excellency participate in our game of chess. Sheikh Nahayan expressed the importance of using the brain to have a better presence of mind and to become stronger in all aspects of life. UAE National Sports Day at Abu Dhabi Cricket was a great chance for us to promote the skill of chess and to introduce the game to young minds in Abu Dhabi."

Zuhair Hasan Ahmad, Abu Dhabi Chess & Culture Club

Throughout the day, guests were invited to take part in several different activities including cricket, boxing, cycling, Gaelic football and The Spartan Race obstacle course. The four separate zones also offered several demonstrations and shows including aikido, fencing, jiu-jitsu, muay thai and taekwondo. However, a particular highlight was the showdown between dogs and horses as the dogs of the Abu Dhabi Police K9 Unit went up against the Dhabian Equestrian horses in an exciting jump- off challenge.

“Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket have once again organised an impressive event to celebrate sport in the UAE Capital. Aligned with the Council’s vision to increase participation in sports and exercise, the event has allowed us to create a major platform to promote sport to over 6,000 members of the community. My sincere gratitude to all our partners for putting on a magnificent community show,”

H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

Seth Amoafo, owner of ProActive Soccer Schools (PASS Abu Dhabi) says “We were thrilled to get involved with such a fantastic day of sports. Being part of UAE National Sports Day and seeing everything that the capital has in terms of sporting activities, cements the fact that there is so much for the community to take part in. We loved teaching the kids new football skills and seeing the adults kick the ball around like they used to in the playing field – hopefully we will see them playing more because of the fun they had at UAE National Sports Day.”

Participating partners were; HSBC Future Falcons, Special Olympics Committee, Abu Dhabi Chess and Culture Club, Abu Dhabi Ladies, Spartan Race Arabia, Ada’ Archery Club, Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, Desert Shield, Nobles Equestrian Club, Dhabian Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi Police K9 Unit, Middle East Touch, Abu Dhabi Scorpions, PASS Abu Dhabi, UAE Women’s National Team, UAE & Maldives Women’s National teams, Baniyas Sports and Cultural Club, Al Wahda FC, Al Jazira Club, UAE Freestyle, Emirates American Football League, Al Reem Shamrocks, Zayed Cricket Academy, Fatima Bint Mubarak Academy, UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation, UAE Judo Federation, UAE Wrestling Federation, UAE Boxing Federation, UAE Muay Thai & Kickboxing Federation, Emirates Bando Association, Deyab Alaseeri, Ministry of Education, UAE Taekwondo Federation – X Fighters, FESTA UAE, Clarke Francis Tennis Academy, Shuttle Time, Kirvy Javier, Demetrius Brown, Abu Dhabi Ice Sports Club, Rolling Wheels Entertainment, Abu Dhabi Police, Capital Netball, Extra International Sport and Abu Dhabi Sports Council Volunteers.

Matt Boucher, Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Cricket commented, “Abu Dhabi Cricket was honoured to have been official host for the UAE National Sports Day celebrations in the nation’s capital. This nationwide platform provides us with another strategic opportunity to engage with our community, promote our sporting partners to new audiences and to welcome everyone to our ever-growing facility. My thanks to everyone at the UAE National Sports Day Higher Committee for their trust in Abu Dhabi Cricket.”


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