UAE to improve ability to discover new sports stars, says official

Government pledges support to ensuring the development of young talent


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 29 May 2022, 3:56 PM

The UAE Sports Federation for School and University Education Institutions - which held its maiden board meeting under the chairmanship of Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the General Authority of Sports - discussed the framework to improve the mechanism of discovering young talent and ensuring their development.

The meeting followed the formation of the new Federation in December 2021, through the integration of the UAE School Sports Association and the UAE University Sports Association.

The Federation's Board of Directors include representatives of all educational bodies, thus supporting the inclusiveness of the sports movement and strengthening coordination between the education and sports sectors.

The meeting discussed the reality of sports in schools and universities, and measures required to foster it by providing the right environment for talent discovery. It also discussed developing long-term plans in which the educational sector collaborates with the sports sector to for a talent discovery mechanism, paving the way for them to fulfil global achievements.

Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, who heads the Federation's board of directors, said: "The new Federation reflects the concerted national efforts by the Authority, the education sector, and all strategic partners in strengthening the sports action system through the development of a mechanism for discovering and empowering sports talent in schools and universities. This is being done to support the country's sports teams with renewed talent as well as provide the best possibilities to reach a more prosperous future for UAE sport. The Federation also aims to strengthen coordination between various educational institutions in terms of sport."

The Federation is targeting more than 1,174,000 students in all the schools of UAE, 20 per cent of which belong to Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, 28 per cent from the Emirates Schools Establishment, 9 per cent from private schools in Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm al Quwain, 25 per cent from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority - Dubai, and 18 per cent from the Sharjah Education Council and the Sharjah Private Education Authority. This reflects the large size of the target segment across all schools, enhancing opportunities to discover highly capable sports talent.


The meeting addressed the reality of sport in 35 universities within the Federation and discussed ways to attract other universities. The statistics for the member universities indicated that there are 870 students who play football, 750 students, including 430 girls who play volleyball, 720 students, including 300 girls who play basketball with an infrastructure of 22 stadiums.

The participating universities also previously saw five sports workshops in which 451 students participated, in addition to participating in five virtual championships in the past three years and several great achievements. The accomplishments include Maha Al Breki earning the bronze medal in the World University Championships 2020, as well as participating in three world championships, two of which were hosted by the UAE in 2019 and 2021.


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