All set for September Sambo

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Preparations are at an advanced stage as Northern Ireland gets set to host the international Sambo martial arts tournament in late September.

All set for September Sambo

Seventy-two athletes from ten countries will touch down for the one-day NI President’s Cup Tournament which will be held in the Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena, on Saturday, 29 September.

Two separate competitions will be held. The first will feature eight teams, each made up of five males and two females, competing for the coveted Sambo President’s Cup. The Sambo Grand Slam will feature sixteen competitors vying for the honours.

In all, the event will attract more than 120 athletes, referees, support staff and Sambo officials.

For the first time ever, Northern Ireland will compete in the event. They will line up in the opening ceremony beside teams from England, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Russia, USA and Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Cameroon.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, says the international event is a first-class opportunity to promote the visitor attractions in the Council area and throughout Northern Ireland.

Councillor Millar said: “A very warm welcome will be extended to the athletes. A lot of hard work has gone into attracting Sambo to Ballymena and we know the organisers have been impressed with what they have found.

“We are confident that the tournament will be an outstanding success and would like to build on the new relationships that are being forged on this new and, potentially, very important international stage.”

Vasily Shestakov, the President of the International Sambo Federation, says the tournament will leave a lasting legacy in Northern Ireland.

He said: “Northern Ireland has a first-class international reputation in many different sporting disciplines. Sambo is a relative newcomer to Northern Ireland, but after this tournament, I am firmly of the view that we will see the sport increasing in popularity.

“We will do all we can to support the development of Sambo in Northern Ireland through an international network that spans 120 countries and several thousand Sambo clubs worldwide.”

The tournament gets underway on 29 September at 11:30am and admission to the Seven Towers Leisure Centre is free.