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First ever inter-club badminton takes shape

First ever inter-club badminton takes shape

“The best part of it is that we are in a position to hold the first Shuttle Time Dubai interclub championships with a properly organised registration process,” Ebrahim told Khaleej Times.

By Moni Mathews (principal Correspondent)

Published: Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:43 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:11 PM

Dubai — Bahrain badminton ace and Shuttle Time Dubai coordinator Jaffer Ebrahim is pleased with the way the nationals in the country are taking up to the sport in the short time the discipline has been systematically promoted in the UAE.

“The best part of it is that we are in a position to hold the first Shuttle Time Dubai interclub championships with a properly organised registration process at two levels from July 31 till August 28 during the Dubai Sports World summer initiative this season at the World Trade Centre,” Ebrahim told Khaleej Times.

“There will be Fridays only 10 weeks of competitive team badminton and the timings will be from 4pm to approximately midnight in the five-match team format, one for the top level players and the B group where the next tier of players from among the nationals and expats will take part.”

He added: “We can take it from here after the championships to identify the grades and levels attained so far during the past 12-15 months. Talent from the grassroots and the established clubs which have been having their events here for decades, will give us the operating base for the sport for more sustained growth.”

Earlier this year, the game took another big step forward in April when nearly 200 girls from 15 schools participated in the first Shuttle Time Dubai Girls’ Schools Championships at the Salah Addin Sports Hall, Al Mamzar.

A further 23 girls from four schools participated in the Emirati Badminton Challenge that took place simultaneously. The six sailing into the finals in the three age divisions of under 13, under 15 and under 17, along with the top players from the Emirati Badminton Challenge, progressed to the Championship Finals, when Saina Nehwal of India who was the world number one then interacted with them.

Ebrahim said: “It’s true Bahrain has a deep rooted base among the nationals and to a smaller extend in places like Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf region.

“The marking of Dubai for the World Superseries showdown in December last and the fact that the event is going to be part of the UAE sports calendar for three more seasons speaks volumes of the effort and drive behind the campaign including Shuttle Time Dubai.”

“It’s not only at the school and college level that we are trying our best to plant the seedlings of the game among the nationals here. Being a sports loving nation, the country is slowly but progressively adapting to the requirements needed for a sport so young among the citizens here,” he added.

He reckons the badminton loving expats here is by itself a sound base where the expertise and guidance available easily can further boost the programmes of Shuttle Time Dubai. “For the first time, a proper league is in formation where registered clubs can come forward with their mix of local and expat players this summer.

Serious inter club events spread over the season is a positive step towards creating a long lasting impression on the people here,” said veteran Ebrahim.

The long time Bahrain champ still plays at a high level as was witnessed during the 38th edition of the biggest club event here — the India Club UAE Open championships that saw internationals from Indonesia, Malaysia and India take part recently.

“The many promotional events at the school level saw participation from all quarters and age groups. Parents have come forward with their children and physical education teachers, specially chosen, have been inducted to initiate the sport both as a recreational and sporting need of the society,” Ebrahim continued, “Today we have a situation where there is ample evidence of the grassroot programmes taking proper shape in such a short time.”

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