Sunday, November 04, 2007

Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq: Kuwait's Answer to Sports

In view of the latest shame that is the Kuwait Football Federation, and the recent events surrounding the shameful withdrawl of it's status from the FIFA, it comes as a welcome surprise to see some other areas of sports being propelled into the spotlight, and ironically enough, with little assistance from anyone, let alone the Kuwaiti Government!

A while ago, I heard about a young, energetic Kuwaiti named Yousef Al Abdulrazaq, who had gained first place in a Jetski competition. I was saddened and surprised to find out that he did that alone, with little sponsorship nor any other backing or marketing for his efforts. So I decided to do something about it.

I emailed Mr. Yousef a set of questions and asked him to respond, not really believing he would take the matter into account. I'm glad to say that he did, and here they are.
A few disclaimers, though; I do not know the man personally, nor had I ever met him, nor do I have any special relationship to him nor the sports he is affiliated with. All I do know is that he is a Kuwaiti Champion who represented Kuwait in a number of events, and had won a couple of the world's most prestigious awards all alone.
1-Personal Information:
Name: Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq
Age: 27 Years Old
Marital Status: Single
High School: Al Bayan Billingual School, Kuwait
University: Suffolk University, USA, BSc. Finance
Occupation: Ass. Financial Analyst, Investment Dept., Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.

2-How long have you been participating in Jetski events?
Over 10 years now

3-How long have you been jetskiing?
Since I was a kid, I always spent a lot of time in water activities.

4-When was your first attempt? Howl old were you?
I was 16 as it was the legal age limit to race at that time

5-What other sports beside jetskiing do you actively participate in?
Soccer, squash, table tennis.

6-Where in Kuwait would be the best place to practice jetskiing, or learn how to practice it?
Mostly during the weekdays I practice in the city at bnaid al gaar, and on weekends at the beach house in bnaider.

7-How difficult is it to learn how to jetski professionally and safely?
Not that hard, it mostly needs alot of practice and concentration on how to time your turns depending on the waves and the water condition.

8-What events have you participated in? When were they? Where did they take place?
I participated in local races, races in the GCC, and in the United States .

9-What awards did you gain? When? Where?
The two main awards I got was the 2006 world champion and the 2007 world champion.

10-Why, in your opinion, have you not had any support from any entity in Kuwait with regards to your achievements in this sport?
Actually I am sponsored for the second year now by ZAIN, as before that I have raced independently till I said for myself this sport is getting more and more expensive so why not find a sponsor that will help me cover those areas and take away some load of my back.
11-Would you consider this sport, in particular, appealing to thegeneral population? Why?
It is partially appealing in Kuwait , it is not well appreciated in Kuwait as it is in the U.A.E and if the sport here is held by the right people, meaning people who really love the sport and has a history in watercraft racing, you would see the sport appreciated. As the organizers in Kuwait are people who are retired and have no interest in the sport what so ever.

12-Would you consider yourself to be a leader in this sport, andtherefore better suited to organize it's events on a national scale if asked? Why?

My achievements can tell you if I am qualified to be a leader in the sport, and yes I can organize on the national scale as I know the rules really well and always have the rulebook to know whats allowed and not allowed.

13-Have you seen this sport promoted in other places besides Kuwait ?What was the success rate after those events?
Yes, in dubai it is really building up quickly as people all over the world has been talking about how exciting the racing is there. The competition and the organization is at the highest level and every racer gets what he deserve without any doubt.
14-Beyond this sport, have you had any experience in participating inother sports with similar successes?
Professionally no, previously I was the Kuwaiti champion in table tennis under 12 years old.
15-Who, in your opinion, should be responsible for promoting this and other sports in Kuwait? What is being done towards this aim?
People who love the sport and want to be creative in promoting it well, and not destroying the sport by taking advantage of his position and benefiting himself. I would like the Kuwait youth and sport authority to take this sport away from the Kuwait sea sport club and make the right people promote the sport.

16-What is needed for this and similar sports, to gain popularity andmore support?
It needs a little effort and the right minds to well promote it.

So there you have it, a single Kuwaiti young man capable of promoting himself and his country, independantly and distant from any political manifestations can make long and wide strides towards promoting his country as one of achievements and mentiones, not as a bunch of Oil-dependant consumers.


forzaq8 said...

people like him should be the real sport stars not the fake ones Kuwaitis adore now

there is also a young boy who play karate ( or Taekwondo ) in Kuwait sport club who play in international competition financed by his father and he get a lot of medals , now Kuwait sport authority doesn't want him to play in china
quit sad

Alice Potter said...
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