Maktoum Meets With Organizers
His Highness, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the visionary and patron of the Maktoum Championships, spent some time this week with the Organizing Team of the upcoming Ramadan Tournament.
Different members of the committee spoke about the events being planned. The meeting included a tour of the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club and Sheikh Maktoum gave valuable input regarding the placement and interrelationship of the events.
Sheikh Maktoum has been involved in sports of many kinds and he loves the challenge of being in a competition. When asked if he had only one sport in which he could play he said he would choose football.
As the patron of the Maktoum Championships the Sheikh is keen to promote sport among all people in Fujairah and he does this with passion, believing that sport is a strategic way of building bridges among different groups. "Sport," he said, "has a wonderful capacity to gather people together.”
With obesity and related illnesses like diabetes being big problems in the UAE the Sheikh has set as a goal of the Maktoum Championships, "the encouragement of young people to exercise." Getting involved in playing sport, he believes, will help people of all ages to enjoy healthy living and raise positive awareness.
Developing the Maktoum Championships
In the few years since the games commenced in 2007, Sheikh Maktoum has developed the Maktoum Championships to the point where last year the Fujairah competition was the second largest Ramadan Tournament in the country, with 1154 players and 32,000 spectators.
The biggest hope Sheikh Maktoum has for the tournament this year is that it will be greatly enjoyed by everyone and it will do much to focus attention on the importance of the family.
Sport, Culture and Tradition
A recent photograph of Sheikh Maktoum shows him with a falcon and highlights the lead he is giving to the ancient art of falconry. In addition to promoting sport, His Highness believes it is our duty to teach children about their culture and to present the Emirati heritage to the world.
The Maktoum Championships are part of a larger vision for sport in Fujairah and Sheikh Maktoum is confident that much will be done in the years ahead to build the emirate and the people of the UAE as a sporting nation.
Welcome to the Arena
Sheikh Maktoum was heartened to learn of the progress and eager to contribute suggestions to the Organizing Committee for the Ramadan Tournament. As the plans are developed and the players prepare for the championships, His Highness, Sheikh Maktoum extends this enthusiastic invitation, "Welcome to Fujairah! Welcome to the arena!"
See the photographs that record Sheikh Maktoum’s meeting at the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club and His Highness playing sport, at this link.
Fujairah Crown Prince Receives Maktoum Championships—Ramadan Organizers, Fujairah in Focus, 8 June 2010.
Fujairah Tennis Club Gets Biggest Challenge in Scoring Maktoum Championships, Fujairah in Focus, 7 June 2010.
Maktoum Championships Plan New Sports for Ramadan Tournament in Fujairah, Fujairah in Focus, 4 June 2010.
Maktoum Championships—Facebook Page for up to the minute information, photos and video clips.
Find Fujairah in Focus on Facebook for much more information, links and photos on Fujairah.
Connect with Geoff Pound on Facebook, Twitter or at geoffpound(at)gmail.com
Image: The visionary and patron of the Maktoum Championships, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Hamad Al Sharqi takes a tour of the venue of the forthcoming Maktoum Championships—Ramadan Tournament.