The new WorldHockey Academy, based at Dubai Sports City, will provide a much needed facility for field hockey enthusiasts throughout the UAE.
The two International Hockey Federation (FIH) standard water-based artificial surfaces will be the only dedicated hockey pitches of this type in Dubai. The WorldHockey Academy will introduce hockey to the local community through entry level programs which will be run by internationally accredited coaches, as well as junior development and through local leagues.
The academy will give talented players an opportunity to access specifically designed higher level coaching and special programs. The focus of the coaching programs will be to foster enjoyment of the game and development of participants across all age groups and competency levels.
The WorldHockey Academy has been established through a partnership between Dubai Sports City and the FIH, and will be based at the Dubai Sports City Hockey Stadium. The WorldHockey Academy building will include elite training facilities, the latest equipment, and analysis software to support the coaching effort.
“There are many people in the UAE who are very passionate about playing hockey, but the facilities have simply not been here,” said Dubai Sports City’s newly appointed WorldHockey Academy Manager, Adam Barnes. “We will be able to provide the right environment for youngsters taking up the game for the first time, as well as offer coaching courses and local leagues for the more serious players.”
Barnes recently joined Dubai Sports City’s staff from Hockey Australia where he worked for four years as Game Development Coordinator. He launched the popular Hook in2 Hockey program which introduced the sport to more than 10,000 juniors across Australia.
Dubai Sports City will support the UAE Hockey Committee in a common endevour to improve game standards across the country with the primary focus being the Emirati community. Dubai Sports City has also committed office space for the United Arab Emirates Hockey Committee, the governing body, within the Dubai Sports City Hockey Stadium.
The WorldHockey Academy will focus on developing the game at a grassroots level in addition to offering international teams a ‘best in class’ facility for training camps and competitions.
Dubai Sports City Hockey Stadium will host its first international tournament when the UAE hosts the Asia Cup 2009. The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) awarded the event to the UAE at its recently held 49th Council meeting.
Dubai Sports City Academies Manager, Jeff O’Brien said: “Our partnership with the FIH will assist us in attracting some of the best coaches in the sport to Dubai, to train, develop talent, and promote the game in the UAE. Hockey devotees in the UAE have been waiting for facilities like these for many years.”
The WorldHockey Academy will have quality neighbours within the Dubai Sport City Academy Campus such as academies for football (home of the Manchester United Soccer School, Dubai), rugby and swimming, as well as the ICC Global Cricket Academy, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the David Lloyd Tennis Academy. Each academy will provide a world-class training base for international and UAE athletes, while also offering the perfect environment for local grassroots leagues and coaching.
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, many of whom have represented their countries in the international arena.
About Adam Barnes
Adam Barnes was born in the UK and moved to Australia, where he gained Level One accreditation in both coaching and officiating hockey.
The 30 year old has spent the past six years in the sports industry; the last four have been with Hockey Australia as its Game Development Coordinator.
During this time Barnes launched the popular Hook in2 Hockey program which introduced the sport to more than 10,000 juniors across the Australia with more than 20 percent of Australian clubs and associations using the programs.
About Dubai Sports City
Dubai Sports City (DSC), the cornerstone project of Dubailand, is a $4 billion, 50 million square feet mixed-use development which will be the world’s first integrated purpose-built sports city.
The development will be built around five major sports venues and feature a series of major sports academy facilities. For further information, please visit www.dubaisportscity.com.
Source: Dubai Sports City
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