Abu Dhabi football tournament aims to help pupils get active

The Adek Sports Cup will feature more than 1,000 pupils from dozens of schools across the emirate

The ADEK Sports Cup is a school sports initiative aimed at pupils in private and charter schools.

A school football tournament has been set up by education chiefs in Abu Dhabi with the goal of promoting the benefits of an active lifestyle.

The Adek Sports Cup, established by the Department of Education and Knowledge, will feature hundreds of pupils from private and charter schools across the emirate.

The inaugural event will focus on football, but is set to expand to include more sports in the future.

It will feature 64 teams made up of more than 1,000 pupils aged between 12 and 14.

The finals will be played at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium next month.

“We launched the Adek Sports Cup to encourage pupils and facilitate a return to a healthy and active lifestyle," said Adek’s undersecretary, Amer Al Hammadi.

"We are confident that such activities will have a positive impact on students' psychological, physical and social well-being, which in turn will help enhance their academic performance.”

"The Adek Sports Cup is part of a wider strategy to strengthen the role of physical education within Abu Dhabi’s education ecosystem. Our goal is to identify potentially talented athletes in Abu Dhabi, to help them unlock their strengths and realise their full potential in the areas of their interests."

Through the tournament, pupils will get the opportunity to increase their fitness levels and get intensive training from qualified football coaches.

Boys and girls teams will compete on Saturday at Zayed Cricket Stadium; the finals will be held on March 20. The matches will be open for pupil's families and friends.

It is the latest education sector drive to harness the power of sport.

In November, more than 200 private and public schools in the UAE signed up for a Special Olympics programme that aims to make sports in schools inclusive.

Under the initiative, called the Unified Champion Schools programme — launched 11 years ago in the US — children with and without intellectual disabilities play sports, join athletics clubs, engage, train and learn together.

The UCS programme was introduced by Special Olympics UAE in 2019 just before the Covid-19 pandemic and has now been implemented nationwide.

The UAE is the first country to introduce the UCS programme nationwide in all schools.

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Updated: February 28, 2022, 2:15 PM