The inaugural inter-university football championship in Ras Al Khaimah, organised by the University of Stirling, RAK campus, closed on a strong note. The first winners of the unique tournament, a noble initiative by the University of Stirling, RAK emerged from an all-Sharjah finale.
American University Sharjah ran out convincing winners when they beat Skyline University 6-1 to win the tournament, a rarity in the domestic football structure among educational institutions.
Organised by the University of Stirling and hosted by the Emirates Cultural and Sports Club over two days of intense action, youth from 18 teams participated in the seven-a-side format and represented the emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and the local ones. The RAK campus offers a gateway to one of the top-rated institutions from the UK, who have been awarded five stars in areas of teaching and employability by the QS Stars University Ratings last year.
Envisaged by the University of Stirling’s local team, the idea is to establish a grand extra-curricular platform for the students of the UAE through the most followed sport in the country. Dr Richa Arora, who is the COO and the head of the institution for the organising body at University of Stirling, RAK, presented the winners’ purse of Dh10,000 along with the chief guest Hameed Ali Yahya KM, principal at RAK’s Scholars Indian School.
The presentation party included guests of honour from the Emirates football club team management — Ammar Adnan Chredi, marketing head, Majed Baid Majed Al Zaabi security manager, and Mazen Suqar, junior team supervisor. About 216 players took part in the tournament.
“We achieved the purpose of the competition which was to give youngsters of the UAE a chance to flourish in extra-curricular activities too, besides their studies,” said Dr Arora. “As much as we are aware, there are not many such tournaments to promote the sport at the domestic level in educational institutions. The youth are at an impressionable age and this tournament has also allowed many representatives of other universities to come together, network and bolster the education system within the country,” she said.
Additional support came from Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), Indian Association, RAK Police Band, the Indian International School in Dubai, www.BuzZzing.com, Marwan Gift Trading LLC and Planet One Education FZ LLC. Khaleej Times and Channel 4 Radio Network were the media partners. Red Bull and Arabian Wellness and Lifestyle Management supported the event as well.
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