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World Hockey Academy beckons on Gulf (3/29/2009)
--K.. Arumugam
WorldHockey Academy (Dubai Sports City) aims new height for hockey in Gulf

Country’s Only International Standard Water-Based Pitches Arrive

Dubai, United Arab Emirates The new WorldHockey Academy, based at Dubai Sports City, is set to bring one of the most popular global sports to the Gulf. The WorldHockey Academy will become the centre of excellence for hockey through a partnership between the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Dubai Sports City.

undefined The academy is preparing to open its doors with the final stages of the facility nearing completion. The two FIH certified (international standard) water-based pitches, which are unique to the UAE, are being installed complete with broadcast standard floodlighting

The WorldHockey Academy will soon be a hive of activity with coaching programs, local summer and winter leagues and school tournaments. Every coaching program participant will benefit from the expertise of accredited coaching staff and the latest equipment to support their development.

Education courses for coaching and umpiring will also be on offer, with some of the most respected coaches in the world, provided by the FIH, delivering the programs.

“Hockey has arrived in the UAE, and we are extremely excited about improving the standard of the game in the region” said Adam Barnes, WorldHockey Academy manager, Dubai Sports City. “There is a massive amount of enthusiasm throughout Asia and the GCC for hockey and having the WorldHockey Academy here will encourage more people take up the sport.”

The WorldHockey Academy, which will also be the home of the UAE Hockey Committee, will introduce hockey to the local community through entry level programs. The focus will be on fostering enjoyment of the game in a common endeavor to increase the number of players and also lift the game standards across the country.

The WorldHockey Academy will also offer international teams a ‘best in class’ facility for training camps and competitions with a number of international teams looking to use the facility in preparation for the 2009-2010 season.

“The WorldHockey Academy has the potential to change the game in the Middle East,” said Dubai Sports City Academies Manager, Jeff O’Brien. “The WorldHockey Academy is ideally placed to improve the game at all levels creating a focal point for hockey in the region.”

The WorldHockey Academy is part of the integrated facilities at the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus which offers athletes a broad range of industry leading facilities and athlete services which rivals any facility globally, facilitating sharing of knowledge and experience between coaches, players and sports science across a variety of sports disciplines.

The Dubai Sports City Academies Campus also includes the Dubai Sports City Football Academy, the home of Manchester United Soccer Schools, Dubai; a David Lloyd Tennis Academy; and a Butch Harmon School of Golf, the first such facility outside the United States.

In addition, the Dubai Sports City Academies Campus is home to the International Cricket Council’s own ICC Global Cricket Academy; a Swimming Academy based around a 50 metre swimming pool with a retractable boom allowing simultaneous use by multiple users; a Rugby Academy, a High Performance Centre; and a world-renowned sports medicine and rehabilitation clinic.

About WorldHockey Academy

The WorldHockey Academy is the first facility of its kind anywhere in the world.

Through a partnership between Dubai Sports City and the International Hockey Federation, the WorldHockey Academy will provide coaching at the highest professional level from seasoned hockey coaches.

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Photo Caption: Jeff O'Brien (l), Dubai Sports City Academies Manager, and Adam Barnes, WorldHockey Academy Manager review the WorldHockey Academy surface at Dubai Sports City

Source: WorldHockey Academy Press Release

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