DESERT CUB SUPERSTAR
YOUR CHANCE TO BECOME A ...
Pick of the day Expert tuition at a variety of venues is the key to the Desert Cubs Sports Academy.
For aspiring youngsters wanting to develop their skills in cricket, badminton, athletics and swimming, then Desert Cubs Sports Academy has you covered for this season.
Their new term is already underway but registration is still open. Now in its 11th season, Desert Cubs has gradually grown to become one of the top multi-sport centres in the UAE.
Initially begun as a cricketing academy by Presley Polonnowita, a former first-class Sri Lankan cricketer, they have expanded their operations with the additions of the badminton, athletics and swimming programmes.
Classes, which are held various days of the week, are undertaken in four venues across Sharjah and Dubai – Sharjah English School, Deira International School, Jumeirah Baccalaureate School and GEMS New Millennium School Al Khail.
“We have got more than 45 coaches working even during the weekend,” said Polonnowita.
“In cricket, Murali Sockalingam is the head coach of the men’s side in the on-going Indoor Cricket World Cup in Dubai, while Chaithrali Kalgutkar is the team manager of the women’s side. We also have our two coaches – Sameer Nayak and Dilisara Sasanka also playing in the men’s squad.
“Overall, we have six Level 3 cricket coaches regularly working with our senior teams.”
He added: “For our badminton programmes, kids can learn from Sriyani Deepika, who has represented Sri Lanka and was also a runner-up in the 2017 Masters World Singles Championship in New Zealand. We also have Upul Rajapakshe as the senior head coach for our athletics division, who won gold in the 2008 SAAR Games in the high jump.”
As well as training every week, there will also be an opportunity for youths to put their practice to the test by competing in many matches and tournaments in the UAE and abroad.
For instance, their cricketers went on a successful summer tour to the UK, where they tested themselves against bright English prospects over different formats of the game.
To date, the club has more than 2,500 members and Polonnowita hopes that number can grow for the coming season with new registrations.
“Our aim at Desert Cubs Sports Academy is to make our cubs the legends of the future,” he said. “We provide quality coaching all year round at all our centres.”
What: Desert Cubs Sports Academy new season Where: Various locations in Sharjah and Dubai When: On-going Contact: More information or to register visit www.desertcubs.com
In to stride: young athletes will receive guidance from coach Upul Rajapakshe.
All action: swimming (top left), badminton (top right) and cricket (above) are all part of the Desert Cubs programme.