• Programme aims to identify and support young gifted and talented performers
• GWA Athlete Scholarship Programme will benefit 100 top-level student athletes
• Centre aspires to support the growth of track and field athletics across the UAE
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: GEMS World Academy – Dubai (GWA) has partnered with AIS Athletics to launch the UAE's first centre of excellence dedicated to track and field athletics, supporting young athletes from the school and further afield by providing access to top facilities, coaching, training and scholarships. Both partners are committed to improving student athlete development and supporting the growth of track and field athletics across the UAE.
The purpose of the Centre of Excellence is to help students who are gifted and talented performers to improve their technical skill and secure excellence. This will be achieved by establishing a pathway that identifies gifted and talented athletes, focusing on expert coaching and investing in athlete development over several years. The programme aspires to increase the number of student athletes with a view to developing elite performers, and to expand the team of high-class coaches to include sports science and medical support.
Dr Saima Rana, Principal/CEO, GEMS World Academy – Dubai, said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with AIS Athletics, tapping the expertise and experience of their coaches and combining this with the exceptional sports facilities we enjoy at our school. Through this partnership, our students gain a competitive edge, enabling them to realise their full potential on the track and sports field, supported by world-class staff, scholarships and our wider elite athlete programme.”
Umar Hameed, Director, AIS Athletics, said: “The AIS Athletics and GEMS World Academy – Dubai partnership creates a truly fantastic opportunity for students to thrive in their chosen sport. Who knows, a future Olympic medallist may be walking among us. We will continue inspiring these young student athletes, giving them opportunities, and opening doors wherever possible.”
An important strand of the Centre of Excellence is the creation of the GWA Athlete Scholarship Programme, a pathway created to support the development of student athletes and fast track their sporting ability under the guidance of world-class coaches. The aim of the programme, which will be free for 100 GWA scholars, is to achieve excellence in each student's sport of choice through the development of transferable skills, such as speed, strength and stamina.
Fiona Ryan, Director of Sport & Enrichment, GEMS World Academy – Dubai, said: “At the Academy, we believe in the value of sport in a young person's life. Our extensive and diverse facilities, along with AIS Athletics' specialist coaches, enable us to enhance our students' sporting experiences and promote the development of fundamental behaviours that emerge from participating and competing in sport.”
GEMS World Academy – Dubai and AIS Athletics are connecting with the UAE Athletics Federation to build a network that will support the growth of athletics across the UAE. Both are passionate about upskilling and educating the wider UAE community by offering coach education courses and qualifications.
From 28-29 May, GEMS World Academy – Dubai will be hosting the UAE Athletics Track and Field Final together with AIS Athletics. This will be the first time that a national competition of such scale is held at a school, with more than 500 children competing.