Press Release

‘Champions of Hope’ tribute wall unveiled at Al Jalila Foundation

Al Jalila Foundation, a global healthcare philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical innovation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) aimed at enhancing the contributions of the sports sector towards humanitarian programmes and charitable initiatives.

The signing of the agreement aligns with the UAE National Sports Strategy 2031 that was recently launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote community well-being through sports. The Strategy seeks to foster a culture of physical activity, improve the capabilities of sports professionals, identify promising athletes in educational institutions, and modernise sports education methods and regulations.

During the ceremony, the ‘Champions of Hope’ tribute wall, dedicated to recognising extraordinary sports personalities who have made significant contributions to Al Jalila Foundation, was inaugurated.

The inauguration of the tribute wall and the MoU signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of DSC; Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of DSC; Dr Amer Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of DAHC; Dr Amer Al Zarooni, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, and representatives of DSC and DAHC.

Al Jalila Foundation has been officially designated as the charity partner of the Dubai Sports Council, marking a significant collaboration between the two entities. Together, they will embark on a series of initiatives aimed at promoting sports philanthropy and fostering a culture of sports, physical activity and inclusive participation across all segments of society.

Dr Amer Al Zarooni, CEO of the Al Jalila Foundation, said “Philanthropy possesses an extraordinary capacity to create lasting change. United by the common language of sport, the collaboration between Al Jalila Foundation and the DSC symbolises DAHC’s unwavering dedication to elevate the overall health and well-being of people in the UAE.”

He added: “Sports provide an incredible platform to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals, promoting healthy lifestyles and generating funds for charitable endeavours. We take immense pride in the support we receive from numerous sporting legends, and it is truly inspiring to witness globally recognised athletes utilising their influence to bring about positive change in people’s lives. The Champions of Hope tribute wall will stand as a lasting testament to compassion, generosity and empowerment, leaving a legacy for future generations.”

His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of DSC, expressed his delight in singing the agreement with Al Jalila Foundation and conveyed his deep admiration for the remarkable societal and humanitarian accomplishments made thus far. “The role of sports has proven to be instrumental in supporting philanthropic initiatives and advancing medical research, ultimately making significant contributions to patient recovery. Sports stars play crucial roles, not only in terms of achieving outstanding results and bringing happiness to their fans, but also in actively supporting community, sports and humanitarian initiatives. Their involvement highlights the tireless efforts of national institutions, with Al Jalila Foundation being at the forefront, in making a positive impact on society.”

His Excellency added: “We have witnessed successful collaborations between DSC and Al Jalila Foundation in the past, always uniting our shared objectives of national sports, humanitarian endeavours and community service to benefit humanity.”

Champions of Hope Tribute Wall

Symbolic of the remarkable strength of community within the realm of sports, the Champions of Hope tribute wall serves as a showcase for sports memorabilia, including two Guinness World Records that were achieved through items sold at the Al Jalila Foundation charity auction in 2015. Notably, among these record-breaking items is a race helmet worn by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during his triumphant victory at the FEI World Endurance Championship in 2012, which fetched an astounding AED24 million. Additionally, the display features the exceptional AED2.4 million Al Yamamah saddle generously donated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, which he rode to victory at the 2014 Altech FEI World Equestrian Games held in Normandy, France.

Since its establishment, Al Jalila Foundation has been harnessing the power of sports to support its healthcare philanthropic programmes. Over the years, the Foundation has been part of iconic sporting events to help raise awareness around a number of causes. Through its engagement in these iconic sporting occasions, the Foundation has generated substantial funds to support its various programmes including 7 Emirates Run, Beat Diabetes Walk, Pink is Punk.

Overall, Al Jalila Foundation has held a total of 300 sporting events and raised almost AED10 million. The latest partnership with DSC will further contribute to realising the Foundation’s objective to transform lives through sports.

As the official Sports Ambassador for Al Jalila Foundation, the esteemed former Real Madrid footballer Michel Salgado has made significant contributions by donating his customised boots to the Foundation and fostering fruitful collaborations with renowned footballer and former Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, as well as esteemed corporate fundraising partners. In close partnership with Clarence Seedorf, a four-time UEFA Champions League winner, the Foundation strives to amplify awareness regarding the importance of cultivating a healthy lifestyle, especially among the younger generation. Notably, MMA coach Javier Mendez, alongside an impressive line-up of top-tier fighters including the current UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev, UAE Warriors fighter Emirati Hadi Al Husseini, and the UAE’s pioneering Emirati female boxer Fahima Falaknaz, have generously contributed signed items and are actively engaged in multiple initiatives in collaboration with the Foundation.

Dubai Academic Health Corporation’s vision is to advance health for humanity through the integration of care, learning, discovery and giving. Al Jalila Foundation advances DAHC’s giving mission to impact lives and shape the future of health through philanthropy.