ABU DHABI – UAE’s Abdulmunam Al Hashmi was elected unopposed as president of the Asian Jiu Jitsu Union (AJJU). Al Hashmi, who is also president of the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF), secured all 26 votes in elections held at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi following conclusion of a forum hosted by the Jiu Jitsu International Federation (JJIF).
The Emirati will head the AJJU until the next elections in 2018. UAEJJ board member Fahad Ali Alshamsi was elected as the general secretary of the new-launched Asian body while Kuwait’s Sheikh Fahad Al Talal Al Sabah took charge as first vice president.
The AJJU executive committee also consists of a deputy general secretary, five vice presidents and six board members. Al Hashmi immediately got down to business and held a meeting with representatives of Asian countries where he stressed on the importance of promoting the sport.
Representatives from the 22 countries were present at Etihad Towers in the capital on Sunday. Al Hashmi was in pole position for the top post, with candidates from Japan, South Korea and Kazakhstan also to contest the election. Panagiotis Theadoropoulos, the president of the JJIF, believes Al Hashmi had a good chance of earning the main job, given the role the UAE has played in pushing the sport forward in the Middle East.
The Emirati pledged his and the UAE federation’s full support and assistance not just to popularise but also look into areas of the sport that could be further improved:
In my opinion, the UAE has played a pioneering role to develop and promote the sport and they are the popular choice. They have already proved they are very serious in what they do by hosting many competitions and staging trials around the world. They also have the finances and the organisational acumen to take the sport forward.
In the UAE, the sport enjoys the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.