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Al Ayoub Int’l Cup spreads peace through sports Al-Harbi from Youth Club crowned champ of Swords for Peace 2014

KUWAIT CITY, May 1: A tournament that was capable of accomplishing its goals in supporting the understanding of peace, as well as spreading the message through sports and youth. Balsam and Lulwa AlAyoub: the tournament was a message to the world, and we were able to make it a world event. The tournament saw 54 players compete, running for the title of the champion in the Foil Category. The prizes of the championship were a sum of $10,000 for the top 8 winners. The Kuwaiti champions were awarded trophies.  Abdullah Al-Harbi, from the Youth Club was the champion of the Swords for Peace 2014. Rashed AlShemadi: I forsee a greater influx in participation next year in this tournament. This year was very successful in number of participants and attendees. Ms Dalal Abdullah AlGhanem and Ms. Fatma AlOmani sponsored the awards ceremony and closing ceremony.

Abdullah AlWelaan, President of the Kuwaiti Fencing Association, applauded the great organization done by the great twosome, the Alayoub champions. Especially in the great reflection they placed on Kuwait and fencing to the world.  In addition, the Fencing museum that ran alongside the tournament, aided in spreading the understanding of fencing, and added an extra touch to the tournament, something that had not been done before, in having the great Captain Nemeth Arpad attend alongside his museum.

Swords for peace:
Touche for sports development is an organization founded by the two champions, Balsam and Lolwa Alayoub, to be a form of a structural umbrella for their sporting development in Kuwait and around the world. Since its establishment in 2009, they were nominated for many awards around the globe,none specific in the categories of aiding women through sports, using sports as a tool for developing communities, as well as supporting education, health, youth affairs, and resolving conflict cases and trying to achieve peace.
Touche also has many agreements and contracts with many organizations and different groups that all strive to achieve the same goals.

Swords for peace is a title that was given to the Alayoub International Fencing Cup in the year 2013. In the third version of this tournament, first one being held in the year 2006, through the two champions, Balsam and Lolwa Alayoub at the Kuwait Sporting Club, as a form of support and a push to the Youth and Children’s Category in Fencing to keep pushing forward, to continue, to compete, and to succeed.

The Alayoub international cup for fencing 2014
This year, in the fourth edition of this tournament the two champions, Balsam and Lolwa Alayoub were capable of achieving successful steps that were concrete in developing this tournament in making it global, with 6 countries participating this year from around the Middle East, alongside Kuwait, and they were: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunis, and Jordan. This tournament was accomplished with great success on a regional level, to prepare itself for the year to come to expand on a global scale, that will involve international referees as well as international organizations and unions.
54 players participated in this tournament, 8 local clubs, as well as 6 international teams, competing according to international fencing guidelines. It was reffereed by 6 from Kuwait, 2 from France and Greece, alongside a technical team all led by the leading international referee, Papa Toureh. This type of organization has led for this tournament to be compared to other international tournaments on a global scale.

The Kuwait Youth Club was capable of achieving the top 3 positions, alongside a player from Kuwait sporting club.
The champions are as follows:
1) Abdullah Alharbi (Alshabab Club)
2) Ali Dashti (Alshabab Club)
3) Abdulrahman AlHasawi (Kuwait Club)
4) Bader AlOtaibi (Alshabab Club)
5) Saleh M. Saleh (Egypt)
6) Ahmad Zeid (Qadsiya Club)
7) Antoine Awnese (Lebanon)
8) Abdulwahab Alessa (Kuwait Club)

Rashed Alshemali: Secretary General of the tournament
For the 3 days that this tournament was running and held, we worked very hard to host up until the day of departure, the teams that participated, in a very organized manner, in order to make sure that all teams made the most of their attendance not only to the tournament, but in Kuwait. For it to be a great experience on Kuwait’s soil, the land of peace and friendship, and to not forget the big role that the two Alayoub champions held in organizing this event, as well as other organizers as well. We also mist mention the fatherly support given to us, from his highness, the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Almubarak Alsabah, who supported this rate type of sporting event. Furthermore, let us not forget the support from the president of the Kuwaiti Fencnb Club, Abdullah Alwelaan. At the end, all we aspire to do is to achieve a great job, that serves the Kuwaiti sporting role in general, but fencing to be more specific, and this tournament really was a supportive structure for sports, peace, and the youth. A structure and an organization that I am proud to be a part of.

Honoring the world champion Bandar Abdulkareem AlShamlaan:
Swords for peace 2014, acknowledged the world champion Bandar Abdulkareem Alshamlaan who is 16 years of age and a player on the Kuwaiti National Team for fencing, and honored him for achievement in qualifying for the youth Olympics in August 2014, hosted in China. The administration of the tournament would like to also wish Rashed AlShemali and the two AlAyoub champions, Balsam and Lolwa, all the best of luck and success in all of their future endevours in making a name for Kuwait in the sporting world.
Participating Guests: “A unique experience that we will make sure to always take part in, as well as prepare ourselves for the competition, in the many years to come”.

The participating guests would like to express their high level of satisfaction with the quality of the tournament as well as the reception they received upon arrival, as well as the tentative care they received since being in Kuwait.  They would also to express their great like towards the concept of the tournament as well as its high level of quality, in the refereeing department as well as its structure, and were very impressed by the host location, Discovery Mall. Many guests stated that this was an idea that was very unique and very fitting to the tournament. Invited guests would like to come back next year, much more prepared for the level of competition being delivered, to verse against the high quality of competition that was seen from the Kuwaiti players.

Abdullah AlWalaan: President of the Kuwaiti Fencing Club
Abdullah Alwalaan gave his sincerest gratitude to all the members involved in the tournament and in a speech he had given he said: I would like to congratulate everyone, and am thrilled by the quality of work that was put into organizing this tournament this tournament has brought happiness and joy to everyone participating, and has shown us what sports is truly capable of, bringing people together. The true message behind sports. The message of unity. I am proud of the work done by the two champions Balsam and Lolwa AlAyoub, and their outstanding activeness and look forward to the AlAyoub international cup to develop, and to be more successful in the coming years, and I would like to personally give them my full support from the Kuwaiti Fencing Club, for no one can deny the great achievement that they have accomplished in organizing and running such an incredible event, that was done in the name of our beloved country.

Dalal AlGhanem and Fatma AlOmani, Balsam and Lolwa AlAyoub’s mother, honor the winners:
The closing ceremony of the tournament was that of spectacular international standards.  Ms Dalal Abdullah AlGhanem and Ms Fatma Abdullah AlOmani honored the winners of the tournament, as well as the organizers of the tournament. Ms Dalal AlGhanem, past president of the Kuwaiti Girls Club in 1996, took a trip down memory lane, reminding us of the start of the AlAyoub sister’s journey: “I always did and always will have great faith in Balsam and Lolwa’s capabilities. They are the true definition of what it is to be a champion. I am very happy for my invitation today, in being able to be a part of such a great event. I am honored to honor the winners of this tournament. In honoring these youth today we are teaching them through this tournament, and through sports, the message of humanity. This is what Balsam and Lolwa always strived for. I hope that everyone, from participants to attendees, have great success in their future endeavors, and I look forward to attending this beautiful event next year.

Events of the tournament: Painting our dreams
The tournament this year saw a new addition to the events agenda. The participants were asked to sketch out their hopes and dreams, and what it is that they hoped to accomplish in their future in the sporting world. As expected, the painting and sketches were beautifuk and expressive this was an initiative that was created by Balsam and Lolwa AlAyoub to give to the youth an opportunity to express their deepest thoughts and desires, and to give them a chance to share it with the rest of the world.

The historic fencing museaum
For the first time in the history of this historic fencing museum, founded by the great captain Nemeth Arpad, was it ever hosted in the Middle East, and we were honored to be part of such an historic moment, in making Kuwait the host of this international exhibition. 60 one of a kind fencing pieces were held in this museum. The pieces date back to more than 300 years. The exhibition ran alongside the tournament, at the Discovery Mall. The exhibition was titled “a fencing story”, and it was held for all the people to learn more of this grand, regal, and unique sport. To learn more of its history and of its pieces evolution. This museum helped elevate this years tournament, and made it an experience for all that will be forever remembered.

Aspirations towards the world:
Balsam AlAyoub stated that this championship this year was different to the other years. It was a great experience to work on. That they always make sure to take on every project, every event, with great diligence, in order to make it better than the last one. To create events that are not temporary, but a permanent fixture that create an impact on communities. This type of quality of work requires a lot of time and effort in order for the appropriate message to be delivered to the world, and today we are proud in being able to say that the State of Kuwait hosted an historic and unique sporting event, that not only helps to develop the youth, but also delivers the message of peace through the sporting community.

Lolwa AlAyoub added that this work requires close attention to every detail, and that is what Touche for sports development aims to do. This sporting tournament is not only an annual sporting event, but it is a strategically studied case that aims to be a guideline for future international tournaments for the youth, as this category in the sporting world is not really given the importance that it deserves, even though there is great participation and support for it.

The AlAyoub champions gave their highest of gratitude to his highness, the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Almubarak Alsabah, for his unlimited support, and to his highness Sheikh Nasser Sabah AlAhmad, as well as to the Discovery Mall administration, the Kuwait Fencing Club, and to every person who helped make the AlAyoub International Cup for Fencing, Swords for Peace 2014, a great success and enjoyment to be a part of.

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