Press Release

7EmiratesRun in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation kicks off in Hatta today to ‘get children back on their feet’

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the fifth edition of the 7EmiratesRun, in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation, commenced today in Hatta.

The 490 kilometre, 7-day charity run is being held in honour of the 45th UAE National Day and will conclude in Abu Dhabi on 30 November 2016 on the occasion of Commemoration Day. The event aims to raise funds to ‘get children back on their feet’. All funds raised will be used to pay for life-changing surgery and post-operative medical support for children born with limb deformities.

The cross-country run commenced at the Hatta Fort Hotel where students from a number of schools in Hatta joined the 7EmiratesRun full distance team. Among the participants were a number of employees representing the Title Sponsor RAKBANK and Platinum Sponsor Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Over the next 7 days runners will demonstrate their endurance by crossing the seven Emirates. We thank them for their commitment and dedication as they use this exceptional sporting endeavour to raise funds for a greater good. This is a wonderful example of how the community can come together to positively impact people’s lives. Last year, we were able to help a number of children walk again with prosthetic support. This year, we hope to be able to extend that support to many more children in the UAE. There is no greater joy than being able to give the gift of mobility.”

Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, commented on the event: “The UAE’s ambition is to enhance its health, happiness and well-being and sports is integral to this. Sports transcends all barriers and unites people. It’s wonderful to see the community, adults and children, come together to celebrate the UAE through sports.”

Wendelin Lauxen, Founder & Director of 7EmiratesRun and Managing Director of DHCC-based German Limbtech, said: “The 7EmiratesRun team is back for the fifth year with a new course starting in Hatta and finishing in Abu Dhabi. The course has been designed to give runners a chance to explore the beauty of the UAE on foot through its varied landscape. We are excited to welcome the community to run a few kilometres – or the full distance – with us as we make our way through the United Arab Emirates. We run for the pure joy of running, to promote a healthy lifestyle and to raise awareness for children in need.”

Peter England, CEO of RAKBANK, said: “We are pleased to be sponsoring the 7EmiratesRun, for the second consecutive year, which is in line with the Bank’s commitments to supporting people with special needs and encouraging sports events especially for charitable causes. We look forward to working alongside Al Jalila Foundation in their endeavour to improve the lives of children in the UAE.”

David Thomson, Chief Operating Officer of JA Resort & Hotels, said: “JA Hatta Fort Hotel is delighted to be the starting point of this year’s 7EmiratesRun. Located in the idyllic Hajar mountains just over an hour’s drive from central Dubai, Hatta is the perfect upcoming destination for outdoor fitness and sports activities and it is fitting that the team have chosen to set off from here. We value the passion and dedication of the organisers and have extended a JA heartfelt welcome to them during their preparation for the challenge ahead. We wish all the participants the very best and look forward to seeing them cross the finishing line on 30th November.”

This year, for the second time, runners with prosthetic limbs will join the 7EmiratesRun team for a few kilometres every day. Among the amputee runners are Nigerian national Abdulmuminu Yusuf, a double amputee, who lost his legs as a child and Brazilian national Luiz Pradines who lost his left leg below the knee in an accident when he was 11 years old. A relay team consisting of 7 novice runners from German Limbtech (GLT) will also participate in the 7EmiratesRun. The GLT corporate team see the run as an opportunity for team building and to support a great cause.

The 7EmiratesRun will be led by Wendelin Lauxen. The route goes from Hatta to Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai and finally arriving in Abu Dhabi, with an average of 70 kilometres per day. Participants can join the full-distance runners every day for 10km or 70km.

The title sponsor is RAKBANK and the strategic partners are Hamdan Bin Mohammed Community Sports Initiative and Dubai Sports Council. Other major sponsors include Dubai Healthcare City, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), German Limbtech and Ottobock.

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