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Air Miles sponsors Elite Sporting Academy in Dubai

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Air Miles, a multi-participant loyalty programme, is sponsoring the Elite Sporting Academy – Dubai to provide aspiring young athletes the opportunity to pursue their dream of achieving sporting success.

Air Miles will fully sponsor the Academy that will provide places to 240 aspiring sporting heroes and will be based at the Repton School at Nad Al Sheda. World renowned coaches and sporting stars have been employed to ensure the selected athletes are given all the tools, both on and off the pitch to create a path into professionalism.

Apollo Perelini, a rugby league and union legend who is currently part of the coaching team at the renowned St Helens Rugby League Club in England, will be relocating to Dubai in order to head the Academy’s coaching department. Everton and Australian football star, Tim Cahill, is another of the high profile sporting figures fully involved in the set up and running of the Academy in Dubai.

Cahill believes that the Air Miles sponsored Elite Sporting Academy will provide the perfect vehicle for the region's promising football and rugby players. “When John (Academy founder, John Mamea-Wilson) asked if I would like to be involved, I jumped at the chance” said Cahill.

“The whole layout is aimed towards the elite. The reality is in Dubai there is no elite pathway for up and coming talent. ESA will provide this, with the best facilities, the best systems, regular matches – both locally and internationally and the best coaches and mentors” Cahill added “It’s exciting because it will benefit a whole lot of kids both expatriate and Arab nationals and it’s great to do something with John which we both really believe in.”

Early next year the Academy will hold a tournament with invited schools from across the UAE. The Academy’s selection team, which boasts some of the world’s top professional coaches and players, will select those they feel, have the potential to become professionals and therefore take their place in the academy setup.

To begin with, student intake will consist of 60 places each in the four age groups of under 10’s, under 12’s, under 14’s and under 16’s. Initially offering football and rugby coaching, the Academy will add netball and cricket to it’s curriculum following its launch in early November.

“The support of Air Miles is absolutely essential in order for the Academy to achieve its goal of developing sporting talent in Dubai’s youth. We are delighted with the contribution that Air Miles is making to this project,” said Mr John Mamea-Wilson, Founder of the Elite Sporting Academy, Dubai said. “This Academy will be about picking the best kids, developing their knowledge and skills both on and off the pitch, mentoring them, and ultimately providing a pathway for them to trial at professional outfits abroad. We have relationships with some of the top rugby and football clubs in the world and an understanding with them that this is our remit.”

“Sport is a fantastic way to engage with the community in which you live and Air Miles is a strong supporter of sporting initiatives throughout the Middle East Region. This partnership allows us to show our support for local sporting talent,” said Air Miles’ Middle East CEO, Dave Battiston.

“Our sponsorship of the Elite Sporting Academy will offer the opportunity for Dubai youngsters who show exceptional talent and commitment to train with internationally leading coaches, further developing their playing skills and increasing the possibility of pursuing sport as a profession.”

Earlier this year, Air Miles partnered with the Elite Sporting Academy - Dubai by donating a collection of the latest gym and sporting equipment to the Academy which is known for providing one of the most state-of-the-art high performance units in the world. The Academy and Air Miles together also provided the opportunity to 15 year old promising rugby player, Josh Warburton. Mr Warburton was the recipient of a scholarship to attend the Sale Sharks Rugby Club in Manchester, England.

Air Miles also recently supported the ‘88 Making a Difference’ Rugby Tour which raised funds for the Bahay Bata orphanage in the Philippines.

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