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Ahmad hopes to inspire future UAE champion

Dubai: The UAE’s former Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Shaikh Ahmad Hasher Al Maktoum has launched a bid to unearth more future champions with a series of visits to schools.

Accompanied by ‘Bwardi’, the mascot of the upcoming Nad Al Sheba Sporting Clays Championship, Shaikh Ahmad began by visiting the Al Qeyam Model School in Al Barsha, where he met students in a bid to create an emotional bond between children and the sport.

“Our children are our future and we need to nurture them from a young age. This series of visits to schools will help us get at least some of them interested in the sport of our ancestors so that we have a secure future in our sporting sector,” the 2004 Athens Olympics champion told Gulf News.

“Not only do we want to get these youngsters excited about our heritage, we also want to engage their parents and families as well.”

The inaugural edition of the Nad Al Sheba Sporting Clays Championship will see nearly 1,000 shooters from all over the world in action in Dubai from February 28 to March 5. It is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC).

Shaikh Ahmad will also visit the Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, Rashid School for Boys in Nad Al Sheba, Jumeirah Model School for Girls, Zayed Bin Sultan School on Al Diyafah Road and Al Nokhba School in Mirdif.

All visits will see children aged seven to 10 years introduced to shooting through a programme called Inspiratus, followed by an interactive session between the students and Shaikh Ahmad.

Kids attending the sessions will also take part in a Sporting Clay quiz, with the top scorers selected to attend a field visit during the championship.