Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed has paid a visit to the training camp of the UAE's jiu-jitsu team to deliver support to the sport's present and future stars.
Sheikh Khalid, a member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, saw at close hand the progress being made to prepare competitors of all ages for international success.
The visit from Sheikh Khalid coincided with the capital staging the Jiu-Jitsu Challenge Championship, where participants as young as 4 were given the chance to hone their skills.
Abu Dhabi is quickly cementing its status as the global home of the martial art and combat sport.
It will host back-to-back world championship events at Zayed Sports City next month.
The Jiu-Jitsu World Championship will take place from November 3 to November 11, followed by the 13th Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship – also known as the World Pro – from November 14 to November 19.
Abdul Monem Al Hashemi, president of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said Sheikh Khalid's visit had proved inspirational to the squad.
He said the sport has a strong base for further growth in the Emirates.
“We have a sustainable development strategy based on enlarging the scope of the sport, identifying talents at an early age and sharpening skills through world-class programmes, in addition to forging partnerships with clubs and schools around the country,” said Mr Al Hashemi.
Emirati champion Mohammed Al Suwaidi, who won gold in the World Under-21 Championship in 2019 and gold in the youth and adult categories in the World Championship, was proud that Sheikh Khaled took time to check on the team's progress.
Teammate Shamal Al Kalbani said the visit was inspirational, ahead of a pivotal period for the UAE team.