Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC), has endorsed the formation of the Higher Organizing Committee for the inaugural GCC Youth Games to be hosted by the UAE later this summer.
The inaugural edition of the GCC Youth Games, to be held from September 15 to 21, is scheduled to attract more than 900 athletes and officials from the six Gulf countries.
The Games will be conducted at six venues with the Zabeel Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre hosting fencing, shooting, judo, archery, table tennis and basketball, while all equestrian events will be conducted at the Sharjah Equestrian Club.
All track and field events will be held at the Dubai Police Officers’ Club in Al Garhoud, the swimming competitions will take place at the Hamdan Sports Complex, the cycling competition will be held at the cycling track in Sharjah while all sailing events will be held at the Dubai International Marine Club.
The Higher Organising Committee will be led by Saeed Hareb, Board Member, UAE NOC and General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), while Dawood Al Hajri will be the Vice-President.
Talal Al Shinkeeti, Khalifa Bin Drai, Amal Al Kous, Abdullah Khalifa, Jasim Bin Kalban and Wajdan Dhahkoni will serve as the members of the committee. Abdul Malik Jani, Director, UAE National Olympic Academy, was named as Director of the Games while Salim Al Habsi will be the Deputy Director.
Shaikh Ahmad also endorsed the logo for the Games, which is indicative of the bonds and fraternity between Gulf nations. “The organisation of the GCC Youth Games marks a quantum shift and a career-defining event for participants featuring challenging showdowns and fair competition between citizens from Gulf nations. The objectives of these Games goes beyond winning medals as it sets a blueprint for fostering a generation of athletes capable of representing their country and promoting the concepts of love, peace and friendship through sport,” Shaikh Ahmad noted in his remarks after a meeting at the UAE NOC headquarters.
“In keeping with the vision of the UAE leadership, sport in the UAE acts as a leverage of refining the skills and abilities of youth as well as empowering them to deliver in all fields,” he added.
The UAE squad for these Games will comprise of athletes coming through the UAE Schools Olympics Programme. The Games will witness competition across 11 sporting disciplines including shooting (pistol and rifle), equestrian, athletics, swimming, archery, fencing, judo, sailing, road cycling, 3 on 3 basketball and table tennis.
The GCC Youth Games are meant to be a training ground for athletes from the region preparing for the Third Asian Youth Games to be held in Indonesia next year and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
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