x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Magazine hopes beautiful game will inspire youth to read

The Majid Junior Football Tournament, named after the popular magazine, kicked off in the capital yesterday with children from across the country participating in the event.

Al Rabeeh School played the Iranian School in the opening match of the Majid Junior Football Tournament.
Al Rabeeh School played the Iranian School in the opening match of the Majid Junior Football Tournament.

ABU DHABI // In an attempt to encourage more children to read, the country's most popular children's magazine is using football to aid its cause.

The Majid Junior Football Tournament, named after the popular magazine, kicked off in the capital yesterday with children from across the country participating in the event.

Held at Zayed Sports City, the tournament continues today. In total more than 300 children aged under 12 will take part.

The tie-up with football is not a coincidence, said Fatma Saif, Majid's editor-in-chief, who has been contemplating the idea for three years.

"We have a lot of readers but I also want to attract those who would rather play football than read," she said.

Unfortunately, the number of the former is decreasing in the UAE and in other parts of the world.

"Kids here, they don't read that much," said Mrs Saif.

The reasons vary, she said, but a lack of encouragement from parents is a common theme across the country.

"Parents maybe cannot find the balance between family and work and encourage their children to read," she said.

The six-a-side tournament involved more than 30 schools from across the seven emirates. Each team starts with six players and has four players on the bench in 15-minute matches.

Huzaifa el Haj was playing with the National School from Ajman. His team, Brazil, had won two games and he was looking forward to the third and final game of the day.

"The first game, we won 6-0," he said. "The second one, 2-0."

"In the third one, we will win 10-0," he said.

As for reading, the ten-year oldis not a big fan. "It takes time," he said before going off to join his team.

Majid is published by Abu Dhabi Media, which also publishes The National.

 

vtodorova@thenational.ae