Bahrain King to open maiden GCC Games today
Manama, October 11, 2011
His Majesty King Hamad will declare open this evening (October 11) the first edition of the GCC Games in Bahrain.
The First GCC Games (Bahrain 11) torch relay continued its tour across Bahrain's five governorates yesterday from Bahrain's state-of-the-art Khalifa Sports City, marking the commencement of the penultimate relay.
Minister of State for Defence Affairs Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa and Board Member of the Bahrain Olympic Committee Dawood Hussain Al Manea handed the torch to Central Governor Ahmed Al Fadhel who lit the torch.
The torchbearers carried the torch along the 3km from Khalifa Sports City through Isa Town, finally ending with the traditional 'Ardha' dance at the Central Governorate's headquarters.
Several prominent former players and senior officials took part in the relay, as well as schools, sports clubs and civil societies.
The torch will be ceremonially lit and extinguished by the respective governorate dignitaries at the start and end of each relay.
Each relay starts at 3.30pm and ends at 5pm, and will be participated in by 30 torchbearers with several designated torch handover points along the way. Upon arrival at the finishing point, unique festivities will take place that showcase the distinctiveness of each governorate for the enjoyment of the crowd.
The final relay will take place at the National Charter Monument in the Southern Governorate today, marking the end of the Bahrain 11 torch relay in time for the opening ceremony.
Today's opening ceremony will be held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and is expected to attract vast crowds of sportspeople, observers and government dignitaries.
All six countries of the GCC - Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia - will be participating in the competitions of the first edition of the Games, dubbed Bahrain11.
The event provides GCC athletes and their national teams the opportunity to prepare for the Olympic Games, thereby boosting the GCC countries' point average at the Olympics.
Participating GCC countries will be sending their national teams to compete in eight main sports and two sub-disciplines, making a total of 10 sporting activities altogether.
The main sports are soccer, basketball, volleyball, handball, athletics, swimming, cycling and bowling, while table tennis for women and goal ball are the sub disciplines.
Bahrain 11 will take place at major sports facilities that have been specially modernised and refurbished to match the vision and size of this huge event. – TradeArabia News Service