Arab athletes, administrators and officials honoured for outstanding contribution to sport in the region
Dubai: Pioneering Arab athletes, administrators and officials were honoured for their outstanding contribution to sport in the region at the 5th annual Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award on Monday 6th January 2014.
Among those conferred with the prestigious award at a glittering ceremony held at the Dubai World Trade Centre’s Sheikh Rashid Auditorium were Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Motherhood who was bestowed with the “Local Sports Figure” of the Year Award and Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), who was selected as the “Arab Sports Figure”.
In a written citation, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, commended the Award’s winners stating: “We congratulate you for gaining titles in this unique Award, which holds the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
Sheikh Salman received the Arab Sports Figure award from Sheikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and President of the National Olympic Committee and Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
“This award is what all sports people dream about as it recognises their achievements and efforts that have helped raise the standard of sport, not just in the Arab world, but internationally as well,” said Sheikh Salman.
“It was a surprise for me and I’m flattered but it also brings a responsibility to the job that has been done so far but it also provides you a boost to do better.
“I’ve been in this business for the last 15 years but it still feels good to get the recognition that the Award brings and I hope we can all live up to expectations in the coming months, which very busy for Asia, with India hosting the Under-17 World Cup, South Korea the Under-19 World Cup and Jordan the Women’s Under-17 World Cup.
“Asia is a huge continent and we have to look at the background of each country and see how we can support them. The future of Asian sport has never looked brighter.”
Legendary Moroccan Olympic gold medalist Nawal El Moutawakel, who is the first Arab woman to become the Vice-President of the IOC, was recognised for contributing to the enrichment of women Sports’ with the “Arab Sports Figure” award.
Among the leading UAE recipients were Arif Saif Al Zafeen and Mohammad Al Marri of Victory Team 3 who bagged the Local Team Award for winning the Class 1 Power boating World Cup 12 times including six times in a row and golf in Dubai for promoting Dubai as one of the leading destinations and world leaders in golf.
“This is going to be a huge stepping stone as we’ve all worked very hard to make an impact throughout the year,” said Mohammad Juma Buamim, Vice Chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai.
“I think we’ve never really been able to reach out to the national or Arab houses but I think this award will make that possible.”
Winners of the Emerging Athletes Award were Fahad Abbas Abdul Razzal Al Janahi (Tennis), Abdullah Ghanim Mohammad Ghanim Al Marri (Endurance), Saif Mohammad Saif Al Massam Al Falasi (Watersport. Jetski), Ayesha Sarhan Hassan Al Maeini (Chess), Khalifa Mohammad Murad Al Nasrati and Khalifa Ali Khalifan Abdullah Al Jahoori (Ju-Jitsu). In all, 16 awards were presented based on the nominations of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Sports Creative Award Board of Trustees.
The Awards ceremony saw the number of candidates reach a new high of 226, an increase in quantity and quality than all the previous editions while the participation of international federations exceeded 93 per cent, a strong indicator of the success of the award at the global level.
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Awards Winners 2013
Local Sports Figure: Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairperson opf the Supreme Council of Motherhood.
Arab Sports Figure: Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President of the AFC.
International Sports Figure: Thomas Bach, President of the IOC
Arab Sports Figure who contribute to the enrichment of Women’s Sports: Nawal El Moutawakel, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee
Local Referee (Chess): Sultan Ali Mohammad Al Taher, Chairman of the referees of the world Championship Grand Prix for Women
Local Team (Powerboating): Victory Team 3 (Arif Saif Al Zafeen/ Mohammad Al Marri)
Local Athlete (who achieved international success in Rallying): Khalifa Sultan Jaber Al Metawi
Arab Athlete (High Jump): Moutaz Eisa M Barsham, Qatar
Arab Team (Football): Al Ahly Clyb, Egypt
Arab Organisation: Sports Institute ‘Pierre de Coubertin’, Tunisia
Emerging Arab Athlete (Weightlifting): Karar Mohammad Jawad, Iraq
Emerging Athletes: Fahad Abbas Abdul Razzal Al Janahi (Tennis), Abdullah Ghanim Mohammad Ghanim Al Marri (Endurance), Saif Mohammad Saif Al Massam Al Falasi (Watersport. Jetski), Aisha Sarhan Hassan Al Maeini (Chess), Khalifa Mohammad Murad Al Nasrati and Khalifa Ali Khalifan Abdullah Al Jahoori (Ju-Jitsu).
Athlete with major humanitarian Challenges (Athletics): Ameen Al Shantoof, Morocco
International Organisation: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
International Sports Foundation: Olympic Solidarity Commission, Switzerland and United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), France
Local Sports Foundation: Golf in Dubai