Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has launched the ‘Mohamed bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme’ to teach jiu-jitsu in Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan.
The programme is running from 14th July to 8th August, supported by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Etihad Airways and Palms Sports, officials announced on Tuesday at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Abu Dhabi.
Originally launched in more than 40 schools across the Emirates, the programme to teach young people the arts and skills of jiu-jitsu from July 14 to August 21, will include a four-week session in Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp.
Fahad Abdulrahman bin Sultan, ERC Deputy Secretary-General for Development and International Cooperation, said, "The continuous support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for Jiu-Jitsu has positioned it as one of the most important sports in the UAE, which continues to witness growing popularity year after year. Bringing the sport to refugee camps further elevates the importance of the sport to serve humanitarian causes and opens up opportunities for young people in these camps by equipping them with necessary skills that can help to enhance their future."
He also emphasised the significant role of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, in promoting jiu-jitsu in Al Dhafra, in his capacity as the Ruler’s Representative in the region.
"Sport has long been a tool for human communication and a powerful means to bridge the gap between the world’s countries and strengthen the bonds between people. This jiu-jitsu initiative underlines the proactive work of the UAE’s sports institutions in paving that road between nations, in line with the UAE leadership’s longstanding support for humanitarian causes,'' Bin Sultan said.
In addition, Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Deputy Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, stressed that the Mohamed bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme is taking a significant leap forward as it expands beyond the UAE, especially after the celebrated success it has achieved across the Emirates over the past two years. He also emphasised that the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation is delighted to support such a valuable initiative and provide the best in quality sports education to young men and women in Jordan’s Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp, contributing to their day-to-day happiness and wellbeing.
Al Dhaheri commented: "On this occasion, we would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his ongoing efforts to contribute to people’s happiness, within the UAE and beyond. Because of his continuous support for sports, Jiu-Jitsu, and this initiative in particular, we have been able to achieve this momentous success. His Highness continues to teach us the importance of giving and the need to thrive for excellence in everything that we do, whether locally, regionally or internationally,"he said.
Al Dhaheri added: "We are proud to work closely with ERC, International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Palms Sports and Etihad Airways to launch such an important programme that helps share skills and benefits of practising Jiu-Jitsu with people in the refugee camp. This first-of-its-kind programme will teach refugees the core values of Jiu-Jitsu and a host of skills that will provide opportunities for them in the future.
"We are delighted to announce the second phase of the programme in the UAE and at Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp, after it was first launched on 14th July. We are also delighted to welcome UAE national Jiu-Jitsu champions who will help bring this programme to the young men and women in the refugee camp. We would also like to stress to the refugees that the UAE government, its people and its athletes are all on board with this programme, in line with the UAE’s Year of Tolerance. As part of the Year of Tolerance, we will continue to adopt and support initiatives that promote peaceful co-existence and values of tolerance and harmony."
The ‘Mohamed bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme’ aims to support its participants by helping them develop their physical and social capabilities. This will be done by teaching them the art of self-defence and instilling the core values of jiu-jitsu that focus on discipline, concentration, leadership, self-confidence, patience, resilience, and teamwork, thus promoting a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude in their day-to-day life.
The programme is run by a team of 25 black belt jiu-jitsu athletes who are recipients of world-renowned certificates in jiu-jitsu training. The trainers were chosen by Palms Sports, the technical arm of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, which also provided all the necessary equipment and logistical support for the project.
The ‘Mohamed bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme’ comprises of 12 different sessions.
The ERC has gained considerable experience and established a high degree of efficiency in the field of relief, shelter and care for refugees, due to its distinguished programmes in this regard and its active involvement with the refugees. It has built and run several refugee and displacement camps in Somalia, Yemen, Jordan, Bosnia, the Balkan countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they also supervised their operations in an effort to alleviate their adversity and contributed to the voluntary return to their home countries. The authority has also executed various development projects that have enabled the displaced and the refugees to settle in their home countries.
To spread the benefits and advantages of this noble sport, it was decided to implement a parallel training program for Syrian refugee children in Marijab Al Fohud camp in Jordan. A group of the best trainers and experts of jiu-jitsu from Palms Sports were accompanied by 30 UAE students participating in the jiu-jitsu school project to carry out an intensive training programme for these children, which includes the basics of the sport and the principles of self-defence.
The Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, President of the International Jiu-Jitsu Federation,JJF, said that he was proud to be present at this moment to see this long-awaited dream realised, achieving one of the most important goals of the sport jiu-jitsu. He pointed out that jiu-jitsu was based primarily on the principle of self-defence, and that by helping others, this would contribute to overall happiness.
He thanked the UAE for this initiative as well as the Jiu-jitsu Federation, the ERC, Palms Sports and Etihad Airways.
The Head of Etihad Airways' Corporate Strategy and Corporate Responsibility, Maazouz Abulkhair, said that Etihad Airways was always keen to support such events. Etihad is the official carrier and will fly all participants to and from Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways takes an active role in serving the community and is keen to support sports and humanitarian activities that promote messages of tolerance and human brotherhood.
Fouad bin Darwish, General Manager of Palms Sports, said that the ‘Mohamed bin Zayed Summer Jiu-Jitsu Programme’ follows the original approach established by the UAE’s late founder Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Darwish added that he is tracking the local programme implemented at 42 schools across the UAE under the supervision of 100 trainers and trainers from the company Palms sports in partnership with the Ministry of Education. The number of beneficiaries exceeded the ten thousand students.
"It is not confined to the sports and physical aspect, where we pay great attention to instilling the core values of this noble sport, including self-confidence, commitment, discipline and respect, which contributes to the building of a balanced personality, as well as engaging in activities that give positive value to their lives and draw a smile on their faces.
All the representatives of the supporting institutions and sponsors signed an official partnership agreement and took collective memorial pictures on this occasion.