Sport » Fujairah host Inter-Gulf Netball Championships 2018

Fujairah host Inter-Gulf Netball Championships 2018

For the first time in 25 years Fujairah Netball Club hosted the 3rd Youth Inter-Gulf and the 32nd Inter-Gulf Netball Championships in Fujairah to coincide with the celebrations of 25 years of their Club.

 

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad bin Saif Al Sharqi, Chairman of the Emirates Union for Bodybuilding and Fitness, who attended the finals of the 32nd Inter-Gulf Netball Championships and presented the trophies to winners of the tournament.

 

The Youth Tournament saw a record number of 29 teams compete on the 2nd March, we felt very proud as hosts that we had managed to field three youth teams from Fujairah, two teams from FPA and one from Gems school, which was a first for Fujairah in the youth event. All the girls from Fujairah showed some great sportsmanship both on and off the court and had strong determination throughout the whole Tournament. It was wonderful to see the three local teams all cheering for each other. We were pleased that the rain did not dampen the spirits of the players and I think at times it was a welcomed change from playing in the high temperatures. Luckily for us by late afternoon when heavy rain did eventually stop play, we moved the last few final matches in the sports Hall and managed to finish off the Tournament indoors, which otherwise may have had to be abandoned. 

 

The IG32 was played over the following two day weekend, with teams arriving for registration on the Thursday evening before the first days play on Friday morning. Were as ‘Team White’ our umpires from the U.K. arrived early on Wednesday morning. With 21 teams competing this year the competition was split in to three pools. One competitive pool and two social pools. Fujairah was in Social pool 2 and had a decent start, winning three out of their 5 matches on the first day. It is a hectic schedule with matches finishing around 5pm then everyone hurrying off to get ready for the Gala Dinner.

 

The Gala dinner is a customary event held on the evening of the first day’s play, where all teams get to enjoy the social side of the weekend. In honour of our 25th year we had some celebratory glasses engraved to mark the occasion and a toast was made to the next 25 years of Fujairah Netball! With good food and a great band, most players hit the dance floor and everyone enjoyed themselves with lots of dancing and good humour.

 

Everyone was back on court by 9am next morning for another full days play. On day two, our schedule was designed to reduce the number of courts we used down from three to one, so that everyone got chance to watch all the finals on the impressive centre court. The atmosphere in the stadium was great, with Stuee our DJ from Dubai entertaining the crowd.

 

Fujairah found ourselves in the Social Plate final, which we were very excited about being on home turf. We were facing Bahrain Lunachicks, a team that we had played the day before. We started very well with a few quick consecutive goals and kept the steady pace throughout the first half; at half time we were winning by 11 goals to 3, an impressive lead. I am pleased to say that we managed to keep composure and win the final convincingly to a cheering home crowd. It was an amazing way to finish off the Tournament for Fujairah.

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In the other social pool finals, Sharjah beat Sharjah All Sorts in the Cup final, with RAK B winning Kuwait in the Bowl. Bahrain A won the Social pool 1 Cup, while RAK A took the Plate and Dubai social won the bowl.

 

In the Competitive pool, Dubai C won Abu Dhabi Heat in the Bowl, whilst Dubai Vets White beat Al Ain Amblers in the Plate final. 

 

The competitive cup final is normally a hard fought battle between Dubai A and Abu Dhabi Falcons and this year was no exception, but it was Dubai A that were victorious, defending their title as IG32 champions in a very competitive match with Abu Dhabi Falcons to bring the Tournament to a close. A well-deserved win and truly fitting that Sara Donavon of Dubai won the Player of the Tournament, she is one amazing lady!

 

DubaiWinners18 jpgWithout the help of a small group of people these two weekends would have been impossible. There have been endless hours of preparation in the run up to the events, but when we saw it all coming together, we felt that all the hard work had been worth every minute. A special thanks to Virginia, Nicola, Jonine, Lisa, Sara, Melanie and Angela. Also we would like to thank our volunteers who gave up their weekends to help us with the running of these two tournaments, we really appreciate the help they gave and the event would not have been possible without you!

 

The final act came from HH Sheikh Abdulla who  presented the original Inter-Gulf Trophy (from 1986), to Fujairah as next years hosts, a very proud moment for me and the rest of the committee as it was handed back to us confirming  Fujairah as the hosts of IG33 2019! 

 

We would like to thank all the teams for putting on a great show for the spectators and thankss to all those who came to support the event. 

 

Thanks to Tennis & Country Club Fujairah for allowing us to host this event at their facilities. 

 

Hosting this Tournament would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of many local companies. Their contribution is not something taken for granted and is very much appreciated by everyone connected with Fujairah Netball Club: 

AGV LLC, African + Eastern, Al Fujairah National Insurance, Al Sharq Hospital, Fireclay Factory, Fujairah Cement Industries, Fujairah Marine Services, Fujairah Oil Industry Zone, Fujairah Trade Centre, Fujtown, Fujairah Tourism Bureau, Tennis & Country Club Fujairah, Gems Winchester School, Le Meridien Al Aqah, Novotel Hotel Fujairah, Scamp, Synergy Healing Centre.

 

Media Sponsors: Fujairah Observer, GoFuj.com

 

Julie Buck

Fujairah Netball

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