Companies fittest athletes go head to head in Dubai
Office workers are getting out of their white collars and into their white shorts to take part in the Dubai Corporate Games 2015. Now in its tenth year, more than 60 companies from a range of industries will be taking part, and more than 3,000 participants are signed up. The weekend of multi-sport competition starts on Friday March 13 at American University in Dubai, and competitors (including some Time Out Dubai staff) will be going head to head in a variety of sports. If you and your company are getting involved or if you’ve been roped into a team-bonding experience, here are some of the places you can get in shape in the run-up to the event.
Tug of war
This is one of the most exciting events on the schedule. Each company fields a team of seven – five men and two women. The competition is a knock-out best of three and while it’s not the most conventional of sports, anyone, regardless of how big or small you are, can help their team pull that rope over the line. Effective training for a tug of war is strength and conditioning training, where you can learn how to best perform the exercises and improve overall performance. Head to FAST Sports Performance to learn how. Its team of coaches are all specialists in this style of training. Sign up for a group class, which will get you flipping tyres, pushing and pulling weighted trawlers. Dhs90 for a day pass. Sun-Thu 6.30pm. FAST Sports Performance, Level 6, City Tower 2 car park, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.trainwithfast.com (04 355 5181).
For some, this might be just a game that you play on your lunch break in the company’s rec room, but table tennis is a highly competitive sport played with plenty of dynamism and energy. If you’ve signed up for this event, make sure you start putting in the practise. The coaches at Deep Sports recommend playing for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Deep Sports offers adult coaching throughout the week, teaching newcomers to the sport and those with previous experience how to handle return volleys, increase speed and better understand the rules of the game. Dhs100 per hour (adult training). Sun-Thu 7pm-9.30pm. Deep Sports, Sheikh Majid Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.deeptta.com (055 978 8144).
This adrenalin-fuelled sport is a great team bonding exercise as it increases camaraderie. Dragon boating requires serious team work, and upper body and core strength. Boats can hold up to 20 rowers. Each has a single paddle oar and rows on one side of the vessel. The race will take place on the Dubai Internet City Lake over a distance of 250 metres. If you want to ensure you last the distance, try a training session with The Dubai Flying Dragons. They train at Barasti Beach throughout the week and newbies are welcome to try their free beginner’s sessions on Saturday evenings. All equipment is provided, just bring a bottle of water, a hat, some sunscreen and plenty of energy. Call to register your spot and coaches will guide you through the paddling technique, how to hold the paddle and finding your best side. Free beginner’s session. Sat 5pm-6pm. Dhs1,100 annual membership (including UAE Dragon Boat Association fees, training sessions throughout the year and entry into all local dragon boat festivals and races). Sat 7pm-8pm, Mon and Wed 5.45pm-6.45pm. Barasti Beach, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al sufouh Road, www.dubaiflyingdragons.com (056 739 8292).
If you fancy yourself the next Lewis Hamilton, get onto the track for the karting competition. The event will be held at the Dubai Kartdrome and participants will be racing in 15-minute time trial heats followed by a final. To get ready for the race, try the ‘arrive and drive’ session held at the venue. You can test your skills over 17 corners, a tunnel and a bridge to add to the challenge. Dhs120 per 15-minute session. Kartdrome, Motor City, www.dubaiautodrome.com/kartdrome (04 367 8744).
Squash A popular choice among the suits of the city, squash is fast-paced and perfect after a long day in the office. An easy game to pick up but tricky to master, squash requires good hand-eye coordination, fast feet and a powerful swing to win a match. To get your game up to scratch, sign up for coaching from Nikky Harradine, who runs private lessons at Fit Lab, Emirates Golf Club and at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Nikky has played top-level squash for more than 15 years and played in the Cyprus ladies national team. She puts players thoroughly through their paces. The private lessons are best suited to complete novices and Nikky can teach you timing and coordination to get you working the court. Dhs80 (non-members), Dhs30 (members). Clinics for intermediate men, Sat, Mon, Tue, Thu, 5pm-8pm. Clinics for intermediate women Sun and Mon 4pm-5.30pm, Wed 7.30am-9.30am. Private lessons Dhs230 (non-members), Dhs200 (members). www.nikky-sports.com (050 450 7762).
Dubai Corporate Games, March 13 and 14. Free to spectate. American University in Dubai, Dubai Media City, www.highfiveevenets (04 369 2517).