Young participants in action during day one of the Tolerance Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
Just days after the UAE marked its latest historic milestone by sending its first astronaut, Hazzaa Al Mansouri, into space, it was the turn of UAE youngsters to aim for the stars at the Tolerance Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
The three-day championship opened with children aged 4-9 years old taking to the mats at the UAE University in Al Ain (UAEU), watched by VIP attendees including Sheikh Hazza Bin Tahnoon Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Undersecretary of the Court of the Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region; Dr Maitha Bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State; and Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF.
The excited UAE Jiu-Jitsu family was out in force in support of an unprecedented youth participation with youngsters from 35 countries representing 88 clubs in action.
There was an extra buzz exuding throughout the arena following astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansouri’s blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this week, which gave the youngsters extra motivation.
Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice Chairman of the UAEJJF said: “The Tolerance Jiu-Jitsu Championship coincides with the great achievement of UAE’s hero Hazzaa Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut who travelled to space, giving superb motivation for the future generation of Emirati Jiu-Jitsu champions to strive for greatness.
“The continuous efforts of the UAEJJF and the continuous support of His Higness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, represent the essence of producing an ambitious generation of talented jiu-jitsu champions who represent the nation in international championships.
“Jiu-Jitsu is now embedded in our society and has become a mean of life for many Emirati families who are more aware of the importance of this unique sport,” added Dhaheri.
Dhaheri stressed that the youth are the future of Jiu-Jitsu in the UAE, adding that the sport is not only part of the school curriculum but also is increasingly important in the hearts of parents.
Adel Ahmed Al Zarouni, General Manager, Real Estate & Administration and Chairman, CSR Council in Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Diamond Sponsor of the Tolerance Championship and key supporter of the UAEJJF, said: “ADIB is proud to support a prestigious sport organised by UAEJJF, which plays a pivotal role in helping athletes to reach their dreams and aspirations.
“Our support is in line with the UAE Government’s keen interest in promoting a healthy lifestyle in building stronger and healthier communities.
“We are committed to promoting and supporting various sports that help strengthen the links between various segments of the local community and enhance the UAE’s position as an international sport hub.”
Ahmed Bakhit Al Mazrouei, whose three children, Bakhit, Doha and Ahmed were competing in the championship said: “The sport of jiu-jitsu reflects its values on those who practice it and I am very well aware that my children are learning and practicing tolerance, respect, discipline and self-confidence, all factors captured by this amazing sport.”
Mazrouei said that his sons were very enthusiastic to compete in the tournament, particularly following the history-making exploits of astronaut Mansouri and were inspired by his dedication and passion. Mazrouei added that each of us has a goal and ambition that contributes to the raise the UAE’s name high and jiu-jitsu is a starting point for his children.
Afra Al Hajj, whose sons Rakan and Khalifa Al Yamahi participated in the tournament, added: “The sport of jiu-jitsu is arming my children with a wealth of values and leadership qualities, especially self-confidence, humility and respect for their opponents.
“We are grateful that this rich sport has the blessing and unlimited support of our wise leaders.”
Aisha Ali Humaid Mohammed Al Maqbali, who claimed a gold medal on day one of the championship, said that jiu-jitsu has taught her strength, courage and love. She expressed that she is striving to achieve excellence in the sport as well as in school.
UAEJJF is thankful for the steadfast support of the sponsors and supporters of local and international Jiu-Jitsu championship.
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