IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai Shines Light on Need for Improved Gulf Training Facilities and Coaching

Published March 4th, 2009 - 12:51 GMT

IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai Shines Light on Need for Improved Gulf Training Facilities and Coaching

Dubai Sports City’s ‘High Performance Centre’ will be
“Rugby Team’s Dream”


The International Rugby Board’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009, scheduled to take place this week in Dubai, has focused the Gulf’s attention on the need for improved facilities and training to encourage the sport’s popularity in the region.

Key drivers in the growth of rugby elsewhere in the world have been team access to proper training facilities and experienced coaching, two elements lacking considerably in the Gulf region, say those close to the sport.

However this will be changing soon with the much anticipated Dubai Sports City Academies Campus opening later this year. The integrated sports academies include the Dubai Sports City Rugby Academy as well as a much talked about High Performance Centre which will offer players recovery, rehab, diagnostic testing, and physiotherapy services.

“The High Performance Centre will be a rugby team’s dream,” says Jeff O’Brien, Academies Manager, Dubai Sports City. “It will provide a centre of gravity for the region’s rapidly growing base of rugby enthusiasts – from novice Emirati players looking for a development pathway to established expat players in search of the latest technology to improve their skills – and will act as a major attraction for international teams of all levels who wish to come to Dubai for training or pre- and post-tournament conditioning.”

The Dubai Sports City development will be built around five major sports venues and feature a series of major sports academy facilities.

Included within the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus is the Dubai Sports City Football Academy – the home of Manchester United Soccer Schools, Dubai; the WorldHockey Academy, a first of its kind partnership with the International Hockey Federation; a Swimming Academy with a 50 metre training pool; a Rugby Academy and the International Cricket Council’s own ICC Global Cricket Academy.

In addition, Dubai Sports City is home to a David Lloyd Tennis Academy and the first Butch Harmon School of Golf outside the United States.


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