DUBAI, 13th March 2017: More than 100 competitors participated on the first day of qualifiers in the Fazza Championship for Shooting Saktoun Riffle for Locals organized and supervised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) in the Dubai Police Shooting Square at Ruwayyah on Sunday 12th March 2017.
It is the largest tournament of its kind dedicated for Locals in the UAE with lucrative cash awards and is expected to attract to attract 500 men, juniors and women competitors ahead of the finals to be held on Wednesday 15th March.
Participants registered from early morning in the Men and Junior Men’s categories qualifying round which will take place on the first two days of competition while the ‘Plates’ Team event will be held on Tuesday before the finals on Wednesday, including for Women and Junior Women categories.
The competition is expected to be close as shooters are vying to achieve high scores to book their berth in the finals for which only 25 of the best will be selected.
Ms. Suad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, welcoming the large number of participants said the objective of organizing this tournament exclusively for Locals soon after the conclusion of the Open championship which attracted entries from regional countries, was to encourage competition and preserve this heritage sport among the citizens by rewarding the outstanding shooters with handsome prizes.
Brigadier Mohammed Obaid Al Muhairi, Head of the championship’s organizing committee, said the establishment of this competition stems from the overall vision to provide equal opportunities for citizens of the country to practice this traditional sport and engage in competition to win prizes.
“We expect a large turnout in the five categories and perhaps the most important characteristic is the commitment of participants to stick to schedules. We have adopted all measures to ensure safety for all and accuracy of results so that there are no disputes thanks to our dependence on a specialized electronic scoring system which ensure transparency,” he said.
The participants praised the idea of launching a tournament dedicated for locals and unanimously agreed that it will help them improve their standard and compete for top positions to bring glory to the nation in international competitions.
Ali Sawayeh Al Ketbi, who achieved a score of 74 in qualifying, said: “We put in lot of hard work and dedication to participate in this tournament. The success of our brothers from Oman in the Open championship have triggered our belief that we could succeed if we get more experience. We are proud of our heritage and are determined to preserve the traditional sport of Saktoun and hand it over to the next generation.”
Nasser Saif Al Zahmi who is taking part in the Junior category in the company of his brother Ahmed, said: “We thank the organizing committee for the establishment of a Junior category for this tournament. Since many members in our family are already practicing this sport, we decided to participate in this competition and develop our skills to gain success in the future.”
Meanwhile, the organizers have decided to circulate a feedback questionnaire for the satisfaction of participants, in order to see how the tournament could be further developed. The questionnaire includes regulatory, technical and administrative aspects of services to both participants and the public, and any proposals from anyone without exception.