DUBAI: A new tournament in the 2018 – 19 GEMS Sports Series calendar, the GEMS Karate Cup saw 90 participants, 47 Boys & 43 Girls, from 8 schools across UAE test their mettle in the Kata and Kumite competitions at the indoor arena of GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail.
Karate athletes from GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) and The Westminster School, Dubai (TWS) dominated at the 1st GEMS Karate Cup in Dubai. GMA won an impressive 17 medals across both groups, while TWS won 14 medals where the athletes from the school completely conquered the girls Kumite & Kata competitions.
By being officially recognized and approved by the UAE Karate Association, the GEMS Karate Cup together with the association aims to not only strengthen the position of karate as a sport in schools but to also help it grow. With 20 official World Karate Federation officiating both the Kata & Kumite tournaments and technical partners from Budo Juko, the GEMS Karate Cup produced top quality youth karate action of the highest standard.
Narghish Khambatta, Principal of GEMS Modern Academy, was extremely proud of the effort put in by the staff and students at the tournament. “Karate, the art of the empty hand, is a wonderful way to instill discipline and build competency in students. They learn to respect their bodies and control their mind. We offer Karate as part of our Activities for Curriculum Enrichment program and are pleased with the results that Sensai Ramalingam and his team of black belt karatekas have ensured for our children. ESM has once again provided the perfect opportunity via the GEMS Karate Cup, the first of its kind for students in Dubai.”
In the boys’ category, GMA athletes put in a spectacular performance for their school by winning 13 medals. Especially Aditya, Rishab, Eliezer and Om Gupta, who won individual medals in both Kumite and Kata disciplines. GEMS Modern Academy boys also dominated the Overall Winners table, by taking 1st place in U10, U14 and U16 categories. Boys from GEMS Westminster School, Ras Al Khaimah (WSR) also performed extremely well as they took 1st place in the overall U12 category, 2nd place in U14’s and 3rd in the U10 category.
It was a very different story in the girls’ category, as the girls from The Westminster School, Dubai (TWS) ruled the arena across all age groups. Lana Osama, Haiqa Hassan, Jori Osama, Sama Aymen, Lyan Jamil and Safa Hassan made their school proud by winning medals in both disciplines across in their age groups. With such a splendid performance put in by the girls, there was no doubt that The Westminster School, Dubai (TWS) took the overall trophy in the U10, U12, U14 and U16 category.
GMA Karate coach Ramalingam Kaliaperumal, who is heading to Jakarta for his 6th Dan in the World Karate Federation Cup, was thrilled with the performance put in the schools athletes. “The GEMS Karate Cup has given these children a platform to participate in a number of karate events and interact with the students from other GEMS schools. It has also taught them to appreciate the performances of other karate kids and value the sportsmanship that was a feature of the tournament. Winning this meet was indeed a humbling experience for our karate kids and was the culmination of all those practice sessions that they had put in”.
TWS Head of PE, Rasheed Ahmed, was impressed with exposure and experience his karate squad gained. “The children and their parents were extremely happy about the event. This is great for the growth of the sport, as we look forward to witnessing many such events like this next year. The TWS will definitely be of larger contingent in next year’s edition.”
James Bowring, Managing Director at ESM, was confident events like GEMS Karate Cup will help in producing promising talents from the UAE in the near future. “The GSS [GEMS Sports Series] is evolving each year, not only by adding new championships like the GEMS Karate Cup but also to have the events officiated by the relevant governing body is raising the bar. Our vision is to have each of the championships in the series, recognized as the most important platform for the students of the UAE to compete so we can benchmark talent and achievement across schools and the region.” Sports Desk