The 9th annual Play for Life Football Tournament came to a close Thursday night with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi being crowned champions of the corporate tournament.
The five-day tournament saw twelve corporate teams converge on Zayed Sports City Stadium to take part in the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s ‘Diabetes.Knowledge.Action’ campaign, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, which aims to promote the positive impact a balanced diet and regular exercise has on preventing and managing diabetes with its high prevalence rate in the UAE. Since launching in 2008, Play for Life has attracted more than 2,000 players and close to 20,000 spectators.
The tournament took place from April 17-21 with teams divided into three groups, with each team pitted against a rival in a seven-a-side match of 30 minutes duration before the top eight teams progressed to the quarter finals.Highlights of the final day included:
Activelife by Daman brushed aside ARWA 5-2 in their quarter final before edging past Dolphin Energy in the semi final.
Meanwhile CCAD needed penalties to see off ADNEC in their last 8 encounter. But their semi-final with HAAD was a much more comfortable 3-0 win.
The final between CCAD and Activelife by Daman was a tense affair, ending goalless after extra time with CCAD winning 2-0 after a penalty shootout.
HAAD overcame Dolphin Energy to claim third place in the tournament.
- As well as the overall championship category, a number of awards were given out.
- The winners of the other categories were:
- Player of the tournament : Mohammed Salah from Activelife by Daman
- Top goal scorer: Khalid Mohsen from Dolphin Energy
- Best goal keeper: Salih Mirasyedi from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
- Play for Life Fair Play Award: Arwa
Commenting on the success of the tournament in spreading a message of healthy living, Mazen Al Dahmani, General Manager from Imperial College London Diabetes Centre said: “We are committed to encouraging communities to take the initiative for their own health and wellbeing and one way we promote this is through organising fun community events such as these. We know that people understand the importance of regular exercise but often find it harder to find the right format or time for this and sport is a great way of solving this challenge. The number of teams and
spectators that joined us this year is a testament to the success of the tournament and of the positive message we are spreading to our communities. We congratulate all team members for their comradeship and team spirit in making this event such a triumph.
In 2016, Abu Dhabi-based legacy trading company, Saif Bin Darwish came on-board for the first time and also became Play for Life’s key Gold sponsor. The management of Saif Bin Darwish commented, ‘It was a pleasure to support this high profile community activity and we congratulate everybody who took part. Companies have an important role to play in promoting healthy living and personal wellbeing and we will continue to highlight this in everything we do.’
The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi was the Silver sponsor of the tournament and said, ‘Sustainability is what we are all about and health is a key part of this overall picture. Yet again, Play For Life has been a roaring success with the community turning out to take part in raising awareness of diabetes. We were delighted to play our part in making it all happen and are looking forward to next year’s event