“There are no training halls or playing fields. Some of these have turned into student cafes.” [Archives:1998/01/Sports]

January 5 1998

Sport activities in Sana’a University are facing many obstacles which are gradually leading to their decline. In spite of the fact that the rector of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh decided to make the sports department in Sana’a University into administrative offices. The situation needs urgent support and attention. Yemen Times met Mr. Sameer Al-Aqr, the General Director of Sports activities in Sanaa University and an old sportsman with a bachelor degree in Physical Education from Cairo University.
Q: Which sport games are presently practiced in the university? A: For example, football, Volley ball, basketball, handball, Taekwondo, Karate and wrestling are practiced as extra sport activities in Sanaa University. These games are for male and female students. Most of the sportsmen and women get their training outdoors because there is a shortage of training halls. But we established a training team consisting of Yemeni and Egyptian coaches.
Q: Are there sport teams representing the university in various sport activities? A: Yes, there are. They participated in football, table tennis and track and filed games. We are about to form a table tennis female team. Some of the teams participated in Arab championships in Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. Sanaa University will participate in the tournament for Arab universities which will be held from 3-5 March, 1998, in volleyball, tennis, basketball, and chess.
Q: Do you receive enough support to cover the sports activities in the university? A: We do not receive enough support. Financing the sports activities depends on the mood of those responsible for this field in the university. If their mood is bad, there will be no agreement on any sports program. Otherwise, we will be able to discuss with them the programs which are to be presented during the academic year.
Q: Are the sports halls and stadiums large enough for sports students? A: There are no proper sports facilities within Sana’a University. The basketball and volleyball field at the Arts Faculty was converted into a coffee shop, and its only football stadium was left to become a waste land. The number of female and male students, who are interested in practicing sports activities, is steadily increasing. This has motivated us to reform the sports conditions in the university.
Q: What about the sports city which was supposed to be established in 1988 within the university? A: This case has taken a long time since it was announced. There was a lot of cheating in this case where there was several announcements for the tender in the official newspaper Al-Thawra. We heard that a certain contractor was the successful bidder and this contractor brought suit against the University because he did not receive his rights. The sports city is now consisting of abandoned play fields and buildings.
Q: What is your contribution towards solving these problems? A: We get to know the deficiencies and explain them to the officials of the university, in order to take corrective decisions on organizing sports activities, depending on proper planning. We have to support the reform programs implemented by the government we hope that play fields be established within faculties because sport activities are just festivals or celebrations where speeches are delivered.
Q: How do you think the sport condition in Sana’a University can be developed in the future? A: I invite all professors, who are interested in sports, particularly Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf to hold a symposium in order to discuss sports conditions within the University and to explain the importance of sports activities and to support sports. I think such a symposium will surmount many impediments facing the sports not only in Sana’a University but in other universities.