The General Authority of Sports (GAS) and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) revealed the details of the 8th edition of the National Sports Day recently, under the theme The UAE Unites Us. The theme reflects the unity among all segments of the society, highlighting the synergy and cohesiveness among diverse cultures in the UAE, in line with the governments directives and the pillars of the UAE Centennial 2071 that aim to make the UAE the best country in the world by the 100th anniversary of its establishment.
The National Sports Day events were revealed during a press conference that was held at the Authoritys headquarters, in the presence of H.E. Saeed Abdul Ghaffar, Secretary General of the General Authority of Sports; H.E. Eng. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Head of the Executive Team for the National Sports Day Initiative and Member of the Executive Office of the National Olympic Committee; and Eng. Azza bint Sulaiman, Assistant Secretary-General for Administrative and Financial Affairs of the UAE National Olympic Committee.
H.E. Saeed Abdul Ghaffar said: Through the National Sports Day, we look forward to showcasing the wide scope for cooperation between the government entities and sports and private sector organizations in the UAE. Our ultimate aim is the achievement of our shared goals which include enhancing the prevalence of sports in society and encouraging all society members to take up different kinds of sports, in line with our wise leaderships directives to consolidate the presence of sports in the competition, leisure, and heritage aspects.
H.E. continued: The theme UAE Unites Us expresses the unity and harmony among various cultures that happily coexist in the UAE. Our country is a leading global model for peaceful coexistence, and a destination that attracts diverse peoples from around the world.
H.E. Eng. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi revealed that the National Service and Reserve Authority (NSRA) is participating in the National Sports Day for the first time this year with various events and activities, adding more value to the national occasion. He further underlined the importance of the participation of youngsters and junior categories in them since they are the nations real wealth with the potential to drive UAEs prosperity and progress through the events organized by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development.
Al Qasimi added: I invite all institutions, bodies, and public and sports entities to mark the National Sports Day on the first Thursday of March every year with extensive participation from all groups and segments of the society. Celebrating this outstanding occasion will help convey and spread the message it encapsulates.
Eng. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi said: Looking at the wide array of events and activities set to organized by institutions participating in the event, we can confirm that this years National Sports Day will be celebrated with marine and aerial sports activities as well as running and walking competitions among others to shed the spotlight on this prominent societal event.
Eng. Azza bint Sulaiman said: This years activities are in line with the declaration of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, announcing 2023 as the Year of Sustainability in the UAE. We seek to be a part of the Year of Sustainability through this national sports occasion that consolidates a sense of national identity in participants.
She added: We call for the sustainability of sports activities throughout the year and the use of the theme of the National Sports Day, "The UAE Unites Us", in various events. Coordination will also be ensured with the Kiswa Company to collect used sportswear in each emirate to reduce wastage of clothes.
The main event of the National Sports Day will be held at Shabab Al Ahly Club, featuring sports training sessions and football, basketball, volleyball, and badminton competitions. A football match will also be held for the Clubs staff, apart from a cup-tied football tournament for the participating teams. In addition, nearly 50 major sporting events will be organized across the UAE, accompanied by multiple and diverse activities.
Eng. Azza pointed out that these will include the Flat Race event organized by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and sky diving championships organized by the Abu Dhabi Air Sports Club.
Furthermore, the UAE Women's Sports Federation will organize a healthy and family sports initiative for women and children under the title I Live with Vigor and Vitality. Meanwhile, the participation of people of determination in athletics and an array of gymnastics and chess matches will be ensured by the Manar Al-Iman Charity Private School in Ajman. Eng. Azza clarified that participation in the Sports Day events will be open to all community members and segments and will take place in gardens, parks, and places designated for sports activities across the UAE.
With the focus of this year's events being on the role of sports in encouraging sustainability, sports activities that reduce the use of vehicles such as walking and running will be promoted. Similarly, the usage of plastic water bottles by athletes and all participants will be reduced through the distribution of reusable containers.
Promoting the practice of sports in society is one of the most important strategic goals of sports sector institutions in the country. They continue to do so in cooperation with government entities and the private sector by raising awareness and enhancing the opportunities for the public to take up sports activities.