Abu Dhabi, UAE March 24 2014:
Pre-Tournament Fanfare Kick Starts Play For Life
Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s Play for Life Football 2014 got off to a healthy start as His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Saeed bin Saif Al Nahyan led more than three hundred and twenty players in a walk around the Main Stadium at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City.
His Highness was accompanied in the pre-tournament walk by Bashar Al Ramahi, ICLDC’s CEO, as well as the participating teams representing 16 of Abu Dhabi’s leading organisations.
The walk was followed by a collaborative pledge in support of a healthy lifestyle, as Mr Al Ramahi addressed the players, all eager to sign the pledge wall and start the tournament, now in its seventh year.
Play for Life is part of ICLDC's public health awareness campaign, 'Diabetes-Knowledge-Action' under the patronage of Her Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.
His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Saeed bin Saif Al Nahyan endorsed the pledge wall andtook the first kick of the five-night tournament as he confirmed his support of the campaign’s healthy lifestyle message.
“I thank everyone who has joined me tonight as together we place the spotlight on the importance of embracing a healthy lifestyle,” Sheikh Saif said.
Mr Al Ramahi confirmed that a healthy lifestyle is possible by embracing the smart, simple steps of a balanced diet and regular exercise. He also stressed that it is important to maintain a normal body weight.
The Pledge To A Healthy Lifestyle:
I offer my full support to ICLDC’s Diabetes. Knowledge. Action campaign, by encouraging myself and those around me to lead a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and balanced diet. This is my contribution to the good health of myself, my family & friends, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tightly Fought Matches In The First Round
Round one of Play for Life’s annual football tournament saw the top score come from SEHA who booted 12 goals home in regular succession throughout the 30-minute match against ICLDC (12-0).
Takreer also came down hard on Abu Dhabi Securities, beating them off with five goals to one (5-1), as the last match of the day saw Injazat take Cleveland Clinic by surprise kicking home four goals, as Cleveland left goal-less (4-0).
Three of the evening’s eight matches ended in a draw, including the Yashat versus ActiveLife match which ended in a 2-2 draw after Yashat scored the final goal of the match just 18 seconds before the whistle.
Meanwhile, tournament first-timers, twofour54 played hard against IRENA but failed to score, while IRENA managed two in the net (0-2).
But the tournament is not only about the number of goals scored with the opening rounds seeing each winning team notch up three points. The point leaders over night one and two will compete in the Quarter Finals on Wednesday.
The teams are arranged into four groups of four teams playing matches of 15 minutes each way. A FIFA-certified coordinator oversees the tournament.
There are five trophies waiting to be taken home – one for the tournament winner, and one each for best goal scorer, best goal keeper, man of the tournament and fair play. The 60 players representing the three final teams – each team can register up to 20 men - will each receive a Play for Life medal.
ICLDC’s Marketing, Communications and Campaign Manager, Carol Sansour Dabdoub said that since Play for Life’s football tournament kicked off in 2008, more than 1,400 players and in excess of 7,000 spectators have taken part, helping to spread the ‘healthy lifestyle’ message.
“Regular exercise in combination with a balanced diet is known to help prevent, manage and even reverse diabetes”, she concluded.
Play for Life - Football 2014 Schedule:
- Nightly, from 7pm, March 23-27 2014 at Zayed Sports City
- 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four to compete in seven-a-side matches, each of 30 minutes duration.
- The match schedule is managed in a round-robin format.
- The final will be played on March 27, with the awarding of:
- Football 2014 Tournmanet Trophy
- Best Goalkeeper
- Best Player
- Fair Play