| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Step up to sport

Who said that huge sporting events are just for the grown ups?

Who said that huge international sporting events are just for the grown ups?
Want your kids to get involved? There are heaps of opportunities for children to volunteer and participate in the UAE’s biggest events, discovers Shalaka Paradkar.

Many of Dubai’s world-class sporting events would be impossible without the efforts of dedicated volunteers. From marshals on the greens at the Dubai World Championship to ball boys and girls at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis, volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. And yes, there’s even room for pint-size helpers.

The good news is, there’s more space being made for children to actively become a part of these sporting events.


Billed as one of the biggest party weekends of the year, the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens (December 1-3) is a heaving, thrilling and entertaining three days of white hot rugby action. Donal Kilalea, tournament director for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, says: ‘We try to involve the local community as much as possible and encourage children to help and participate in the event. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them. Over the years the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens organisers have built up a strong list of children and teens who volunteer for the event. The ball kids are volunteers from English College and this has been thanks to the efforts of sports master and rugby coach Jon Kendry. English College was the first school to volunteer its students to support the event.’

Nearly 250 volunteers are needed at the event. For the three-day tournament, children start training beforehand to learn the ropes. They must commit their whole weekend to volunteering.

‘When you volunteer is that you become a part of the total event: seeing the action, picking up skills and seeing the sport you love up close. The children thoroughly enjoy it, and they learn so much from the experience: how to work as a team and under time restrictions, they learn responsibilities on pitch and off pitch, and above all, they learn what it takes to make a big event like this happen.’
Visit www.dubairugby7s.com to find out more.

By Time Out Dubai kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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