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Sulayem Says Volunteers Can Play Growing Role In UAE's Sporting Success Story
Posted by: newsla on Mar 09, 2014 - 04:13 PM
Sulayem Says Volunteers Can Play Growing Role In UAE's Sporting Success Story

The UAE’s growing band of sports volunteers on the international stage have been told by Mohammed Ben Sulayem that their work can provide increasingly important social and economic benefits.


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Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and FIA Vice President, delivered a motivational speech at the Takatof awards ceremony staged at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

He told an audience of 250 volunteers that they had made a major contribution to the success of last year’s F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the Fifa U-17 World Cup.

“When the Emirates Foundation was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE, it provided a valuable platform for volunteers to contribute to the Takatof programmes,” said Sulayem.

“You must all take advantage of the opportunities the Emirates Foundation provides realise the great importance of the voluntary work you do, and the returns this can bring for the UAE, which will grow as the concept of volunteerism develops further in our country.”

“The key is to focus on quality in the contribution you make, and to use the platform created by Takatof and the events you become involved with to develop your own competencies and skills.”

In 2009, Sulayem established the UAE Motorsport Marshals Club as part of a five-year plan to build a national framework of volunteers and officials and run events. The target was achieved two years ahead of schedule with the help of Takatof, the voluntary social programme designed by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development to create a culture of volunteering.

The ATCUAE and Takatof worked together to successfully recruit and manage a committed team of national volunteers, and for the last three years UAE-trained marshals have been named by the FIA, the sport’s governing body, as the worldwide Volunteer of the Year

In June last year the ATCUAE published a report highlighting the social and economic impact of volunteerism in sport, its contribution to society and the economy of nations hosting international events.

It calculated that more than 600 volunteers and unpaid officials working on the 2012 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit produced an economic saving of AED6,641,500 (US$1.81m) by giving 53,448 hours towards preparation and running the event.

The report showed volunteerism around the world as a prolific opportunity for industries, policy makers and regulators to further enhance national competitiveness and the labour market.

The first study of its kind in the world of international motor racing was commissioned by Sulayem and developed by the ATCUAE team in conjunction with the University of Ulster, one of the UK’s leading research centres.

Said Sulayem” “We now know the true value of volunteerism in sport, and so everyone who offers their support for one of the many big events we host in the UAE should be aware of how important a role they can play, and how much they can gain in terms of personal development.”

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