Touch Continues to Unite
March 20, 2014 @ 11:19 UTC
On the 28th February 2014 approximately 30 touch players from Saudi Arabia travelled to Abu Dhabi to play in a one day touch tournament.
The Saudi group comprised of two men's teams, a women's team and a mixed team formed from a combination of these teams. Abu Dhabi had two men's teams, a women's team and also combined together to create a mixed team. A mixed team from NYU completed the competition line-up.
At around lunchtime on the Friday the teams arrived at the Emirates Palace - a seven star hotel in downtown Abu Dhabi. The facilities included a playing field and club house that Manchester United soccer team had used in the past for preseason training. To say that the playing surface was immaculate would be an understatement.
The draw for the day was decided and after initial introductions started at 12 noon. Games were played under warm conditions, every half an hour until 5pm. Abu Dhabi won the men's and mixed competition and Saudi Arabia won the lady's competition.
The games were very competitive, with close scores in all games, including the last games between Saudi men and Abu Dhabi men going to a "Drop Off". With each team down to 3 players Abu Dhabi finally scored to win the match. The games were all played with great spirit between all players - with players from each team sitting down to chat with each other in between games.
After the games were finished most people stayed at the fields to chat over a few refreshments and form new friendships. After this the players from Saudi returned to their hotel and then met up later in the night to enjoy some Abu Dhabi hospitality. There was plenty of talk between the players about what a success the weekend had been and how much everyone had enjoyed the competition.
The way the Saudi players improved from the first to the last game is a credit to all players. It really showed that with training everyone could play touch football to a high level. The plan now is to keep the training going and organise more trips to Abu Dhabi, and to include Bahrain and Dubai and Qatar.
A competition in Qatar has already been mentioned. Many thanks to John Larkins from UAE Touch and the referees for a great weekend.