[UAE, May 21, 2014] – Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the National Olympic Committee, the 2nd School Olympics championship kicked off today (Thursday 22 May 2014), with 1,200 students vying for the top awards. The student athletes, all of whom had undergone rigorous trainings supervised by the experts, are representing the 10 educational zones in the UAE and are competing in six Olympics games, namely the athletic games, artistic gymnastics, swimming, fencing, archery, and bow and arrow. The various competitions are scheduled to be held separately at the Dubai Police Officers Club and at Al Wasl Sports Club for three days.
The young athletes received strong support, professional trainings, and other psychological and physical preparations to ensure that they perform at the highest levels in the finals. The trainings were also done to develop the students’ athletic abilities and skills as part of the UAE’s long-term initiative to nurture young talents who will represent the country in future regional and international sports competitions.
Hassan Lootah, Director of Physical Education, Ministry of Education and Head of the Educational Zones Committee for the School Olympics, said: "The School Olympics provides all the necessary training and development support to talented locals who will eventually represent the UAE flag in regional and global tournaments. In addition, all the standards, frameworks, and procedures have been put in place to ensure the success of this national initiative. The Olympics serves as a main venue for us to find and select the outstanding sports programs among UAE schools as well as discover young Emirati athletes who can be recruited to join our national sports teams.”
“The preliminary tournaments, which concluded in April, showed the readiness and efficiency of the students to compete in the championship round. It’s all systems go for the school Olympics finals. Rigorous planning and the preparations have been done to ensure the success of this project and to provide support to the overall sports industry in line with the vision and directives of the wise UAE leadership,” Lootah added.
All winners will receive cash prizes and medals. The gold medalists will be given AED 3,000; silver medalists, AED 2,000; and bronze medalists, AED 1,000. The winning educational zones will also receive cash awards. The first place will get AED 50,000 cash; second place, AED 30,000; and third place, AED 20,000.