In a bid to further highlight the achievements of local families who pursue sports professionally and champion healthy lifestyles, the higher organising committee of the second edition of Sharjah Sports Family Award (SSFA) has introduced two new award categories, namely, ‘Hero/Heroine with Special Abilities’, and ‘Family Participation in Community Sports’.
The two new awards added to SSFA’s existing categories, ‘Sports Family’ and ‘Family of Sports Heroes’ brings the total tally to four awards, with the award consisting of a grand prize which we will be announced separately.
In addition to the new award categories, the second edition of SSFA will also witness the launch of an ‘Ambassadors Programme’, under which popular celebrities and qualified personnel will be appointed to further Sharjah Sports Council’s efforts through interactions and engagement with local communities.
The details of the second edition highlighting the purpose of each award category along with their qualification criteria were announced at a press conference held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), on Tuesday (May 8).
SSFA is organised by the Sharjah Sports Council under the vision and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, and Chairperson of the Sharjah Sports Family Award. The new categories have been announced this year in line with HH Sheikha Jawaher’s vision to encourage maximum participation of all members of Emirati families in sports, incentivizing their commitment to building healthy generations of locals through these awards.
The press conference was attended by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sports Council; His Excellency Abdul Al Aziz Al Noman, Chairman of SSFA Board of Trustees; Her Excellency Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Secretary General of SSFA; Her Excellency Khawla Al Serkal, Chairperson of the SSFA Media and Public Relations Committee; Hanan Al Mahmoud, Chairperson of SSFA Marketing and Events Committee; Dr Salah Taher, Chairman of the award’s Technical and Arbitral Committee; and Dr. Mohamed Abdul Azim, Vice Chairman of the award’s Technical and Arbitral Committee.
The four award categories
The ‘Sporting Family’ category is awarded to a family whose members have made several professional accomplishments in sports, in the local, Arab or global levels. The category, ‘Family of Sports Heroes’ is conferred on families who have supported and nurtured the sporting ambitions of a member of a family through scientific training, physical and moral support, and have offered the individual an environment in which they have been able to grow as an accomplished sports person.
The new category of ‘Hero/Heroine with Disability’ will be dedicated to families that have contributed to developing the sporting ambitions of a family member with special abilities and needs. The award celebrates the outstanding efforts of Emirati families, whose material and moral support has helped individuals challenge their disability and hone their skills to integrate themselves into the professional sporting circles of the UAE.
‘Family Participation in Community and Health Sports’ is another new award category, created to shine the spotlight on families for whom participation in sports and regular physical activity is a lifestyle choice.
Integrating sports and Emirati populations
Speaking during the press conference, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Qasimi said: "The history of our country testifies that nation building efforts and civilizational plans cannot come to fruition without human capital.
The efforts and contributions of every Emirati citizen are pivotal to realising the UAE’s vision and aspirations. Today, we would not have been at the forefront of economic and social progress had it not been for our belief in the wise words of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who said that the human being is at the basis of every civilized process.”
Inspiring the Emirati community to champion healthy lifestyles
Abdul Al Aziz Al Noman added: “By honouring the outstanding achievements of local families in sports, the award aims to inspire the entire Emirati community, especially the young generation, to take up sports, recreation and actively pursue healthy lifestyles. Sharjah’s vision for development has always been community driven, and the fact that SSFA was born in this emirate, testifies that.
Through the awards, we also aim to ignite the spirit of community participation; a sense of loyalty to one’s nation created by strengthening the bonds of fraternity and collective achievements of the Emirati peoples. We thereby call on all Emirati sporting families whose members have attained achievements in official and social competitions in the past five years, to participate.”
A springboard for fresh talent
For her part HE Nada Al Naqbi said: "We live in the emirate, which has been leading the movement of investing in human capital based on its belief it forms the backbone of societal advancement. This is best reflected by Sharjah’s cultural project, which mirrors the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the directive of his Wife, HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, to offer an environment that actively develops the mindset and skills of the nation’s citizens in various fields, especially sports.”
Dr Salah Taher, Chairman of the award’s Technical and Arbitral Committee, stressed that SSFA requires that all members of the nominated families must be Emirati, and bring to the table achievements from sports and athletics competitions organised officially at local, regional and international levels. Documents recognising these achievements, either individual or collective representing all members of a family, should be from competitions or events held within the last five years.
An online participation form should also be filled out, attaching with it supportive documents and certificates issued by competent entities, Taher added.
Launched in 2014, the Sharjah Sports Family Award embodies the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to invest in the health and safety of human capital.
The award aims to encourage Emirati families to adopt healthy lifestyles through sports, foster a sense of loyalty and belonging of athletes, enhance their national identity and encourage them to participate in sports clubs, institutions and national teams to achieve sports feats locally and abroad. It also aims to highlight the Emirati families’ efforts, which contributed to underpinning the largest number of athletes who made great achievements in individual and team sports.