Oman: New teams announced for inaugural Oman Youth Rally Cup

Oman: New teams announced for inaugural Oman Youth Rally Cup

Young Omanis celebrate their selection for the inaugural Oman Youth Rally Cup with Hamed Al Wahabi

Muscat, Oman, 17 February, 2013: The 32 successful candidates who have earned places in the inaugural Oman Youth Rally Cup can look forward to a new challenge on two fronts as part of the Safety First initiative in the Sultanate.

They are being presented with a unique opportunity to compete and develop careers in the world of rallying, and at the same time take on key roles as Oman’s next generation of road safety ambassadors.

“This is an exciting day for everyone involved in this project, especially for the 32 young Omanis who now join our ever growing team,” said Hamed Al Wahaibi, founder of Safety First, at an official press conference on Saturday night at the Oman Automobile Association headquarters in Seeb.

“They have made a big effort to get here today, and we look forward to working with them to achieve our main objectives, which are to raise road safety awareness in Oman, and create future rally champions.”

“Through the Oman Youth Rally Cup, we aim to persuade other youngsters, and people of all ages, that there is no place for racing on our roads. Racing should take place only in the kind of properly controlled motor sport environment that we are developing.”

Conceived by Safety First, the Sultanate’s leading, independent, not-for-profit, road safety campaigning organisation, the Oman Youth Rally Cup is officially supported by Oman Air Cargo and Oman Sail.

“We are indebted to Oman Air Cargo and Oman Sail for the support and encouragement they are providing for Safey First,” said Al Wahaibi. “We share a common goal, to contribute to the future prosperity of Oman.”

Rashid Al Kindi, National Sailing Team Manager of Oman Sail, whose star sailors provide real Omani role models on the international stage, said: “The people of the Sultanate can be grateful to Safety First for its commitment to make our roads safer.

“We applaud this latest initiative by Hamed and his hard working team, as it creates opportunities for young Omanis to express themselves in the sporting arena, and to make positive and effective contributions to the community in which they live.”

Of the 32 young Omanis selected to take part in the 2013 Oman Youth Rally Cup, 28 were separated into four teams of seven to compete in all five rounds of this year’s Oman Rally Championship. Each team consists of a driver, co-driver, and five technicians. Of the other four candidates selected, two will alternate as driver and co-driver in one of the teams, while the two others will work as the teams captain and teams co-ordinator throughout the programme.

The 32 candidates came through an intensive selection process which included driver, technical and fitness assessment programmes held over the last three weeks after scores of young Omanis were attracted by the OYRC project.

Starting this week, the teams will undergo professional training in first aid, fire fighting, CPR, defensive driving, road safety, rally driving and navigation. They will also receive training in communication, sports psychology, media relations, presentation, sponsor relations and commercial aspects, and undergo continuous fitness assessments and interviews.

Using specially designed Toyota Yaris models built and tested in the Sultanate for rallying, the teams will compete in a special category within the Oman Rally Championship which stages its first of five rounds next month and reaches its conclusion in December.

In addition, the 32 young Omanis will take part in a year-long series of community activities designed to encourage the wider public in the Sultanate to become safer drivers.

“They are all relishing the chance to become part of competitive rally teams, but at the same time they are enthusiastic about the roles they can play in helping us achieve our overall road safety targets,” said Al Wahaibi.

The Oman Youth Rally Cup will be decided by a scoring system based on a combination of rally results, and performance in a series of scheduled community road safety activities.

The winning team will automatically qualify for the 2014 Oman Youth Rally Cup which will be expanded to take in additional teams. Members of the other teams can choose to participate in the Oman Rally Championship on their own by securing sponsors, or look for employment opportunities in their preferred industry.

The OYRC project supports the mission of Safety First, to reduce road accidents and fatalities in Oman by 50% by the year 2020 in line with the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety.

2013 Omani Youth Rally Cup teams

Team Red – Driver: Said Rashid Al Ghaithi; co-driver: Mannan Al Rawali, technicians: Sami Saif Al Salmi, Ammar Saif Al Mamari, Ahmed Said Al Abri, Nawaf Hussain Al Bulushi, Haitham Tariq Khalfan Al Gihannami.

Team Blue – Driver: Zakariya Ahmed Al Aufi; co-driver: Issa Mohammed Ahmed Al Wardi; technicians: Ayoub Sulaiman Al Mahrami; Moath Salim Said Al Riyami; Salem Sultan Al Mamari; BaderSaud Mohammed Al Sibani; Mawan Ahmed Al Subhi;

Team White – Driver: Ehab Ahmed Al Zadjali; co-driver: Mazin Muhanna Al-Nadabi; technicians: Jarah Hamood Al Torqi; Mohammed Yaqoob Al Busaidi; Mazin Mohammed Al Nabhani; Mohammed Suleiman Al Bahlani; Munther Ali Sabeel Al Hinai

Team Green – (drivers and co-drivers will alternate) Driver: Yaqdhan Mubarak Alrashdi / Haythem Khalid Soomar Al Zadjali; co-driver: Ahmed Saud Al Sibani / Ammar Hussain Al Bulushi; technicians: Nasser Salim Al Namaani; Abbas Hussain Ibrahim Dawood; Hilal Saleh Hilal Al Taey; Arfat Hilal Al Aghbari; Salem Al Harthy.

Teams captain: Hamed Khalaf Al Subhi; Teams co-oordinator : Mohammed Zaher, Al Mazroui.


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