The Alameda Triathlon Team recently held a press conference to explain the team’s projects over the recent period and its plans in the United Arab Emirates, as well as highlighting the planned implementations for the team over the coming period.
The press conference was run by the Team Principal, Hassan Afifi, with presence of three of the Elite Team athletes, namely Lawrence Fanous (Jordan), Eimear Mullan (Ireland), Gillian Sanders (South Africa), alongside Bahraini development athlete Sameera AlBitar, Alameda Triathlon Academy management and a number of the academy athletes from Egypt.
Afifi started by welcoming those who were present from the Emirati press and others who were attending. The Team Principal introduced the athletes present at the conference and highlighted some of their achievements as well as the achievements of the other athletes on the team.
The main emphasis of the press conference was that the biggest goal of the team’s presence in the UAE has been to help the whole Emirati community, from youth to children, women, etc., to make them aware of the sport of triathlon and to try and get them to participate in it directly and consistently, as well as the importance of the whole community’s participation as part of the development of local world and Olympic champions in the sport.
Alameda Tri Team started its activities in Egypt in 2015 and it had successes in being a direct factor in the spread of triathlon in schools, in addition to starting the first location of the Alameda Triathlon Academy in Egypt in 2016, managed by Youssra Abou El Naga.
Afifi continued that “During the past few months, we have succeeded to spread the sport at the Sharjah Youth Centres through providing all the necessary support for participation, from equipment to coach training, and our plans for the immediate future include seeking approvals to spread the sport throughout schools across the UAE.”
The team has also revealed the opening of a new location for an academy in Abu Dhabi to try and reach all levels of young people who want to participate in the sport of triathlon.
Alameda Tri Team is currently focusing more on the UAE due to… ‘the great attention of public entities in the country to make it easier for projects to participate in developing awareness and champions, in addition to the great facilities and world class events, as well as the motivation of trying to benefit local Emiratis from having the yearly World Triathlon Series, the World Games in 2019, and the anticipated World Triathlon Grand Final in Abu Dhabi in 2021, in which we would love to see local Emiratis competing for top spots.’
During the press conference, the athletes present on the panel also voiced their opinions about the benefits of triathlon to young communities and their take on the team’s plans for developing talent from the UAE and the Arab region.
Alameda Tri Team is one of currently only a handful of professional triathlon teams in the world. Its Elite Team consists of top professional triathletes. The organisation runs a high performance programme for youth named ‘First Team’, and it also runs an academy for young athletes. The team’s main geographical focus area is the Arab region, with the goal of growing the sport in the region and developing Arab talent to Olympic and world championship levels.