Speaking to Muscat Daily, after the award ceremony, Wahaibi gave full credit of the club’s longstanding success in the HM’s Cup for Youth to none other than H H Sayyid Shihab.
“The secret of our success is the plan and strategy laid out for the club by our chairman, H H Sayyid Shihab. Seeb has a total of 11 sports at the club and every year, we manage to grab a trophy in one or more than the 11 sports that we play,” said Wahaibi. “We now plan to diversify our interests in other sports too. Last year, we had the astro-turf hockey pitch inaugurated and also opened a swimming pool at the club.”
Wahaibi said, “We have been finishing among the top three since the launch of the awards in 1998. We had already created history by winning it five times in a row (2005-09), and now we hold the record of 12 titles and the four in a row. We will continue our work and aim for the trophy next year again.”
The HM’s Cup for Youth is the symbol of clubs’ supremacy in the sultanate and was instituted by the Ministry of Sports Affairs in 1998. Over the past two decades, Seeb has been the dominating force, having won more than half of it. It had also won the past three editions and claimed the fourth in succession.
On Monday, H E Dr Rasheed al Huraibi, chairman of Tender Board, presented the trophy to Wahaibi in the presence of H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, H E Rashad al Hinai, Undersecretary at the sports ministry, excellencies, club chairmen and other sports officials.
Besides the trophy, Seeb was also awarded a cash prize of RO30,000. Former winner, Al Ittifaq, which had won the crown in 2011, finished runner-up and received RO28,000 and a silver trophy.
Quriyat Club was the surprise winner at third spot as it got the better of former winners like Saham, Al Nasr and Nizwa on its way to the podium for bronze trophy and RO26,000.
Saham was fourth while Al Nasr came fifth and another former winner, Nizwa, was sixth. Al Bashayer was seventh and Salalah and Dhofar came eighth and ninth respectively while Ibri was tenth and last of the awardees. A total of 21 clubs had submitted their entries for the prestigious award for 2017.
H E Hinai, who heads the committee to decide the best ten clubs, said, “We saw the emergence of new clubs this time and it is a positive development. We take into account not just the sports activities but also its role in involving youth in the clubs.
“We hope that more and more clubs will submit their applications in the future as this is an opportunity for the clubs to evaluate themselves.”
The overall cash awards amounted to RO212,000.
H E Hinai added, “The awards are an encouraging influence in promoting youth and sports activities. It is a rewarding incentive for clubs that work hard to compete for the top honour.”
Quriyat chairman Khalid al Aadi said, “We are very happy to make it among the top-three. It is a reward for the activities that we have been pursuing at the club to involve the youth.
“The award will give us more encouragement to continue with our efforts.”
Winners: 1998: Seeb, 1999: Nizwa, 2000: Al Nasr, 2001: Al Nasr, 2002: Nizwa, 2003: Seeb, 2004: Nizwa, 2005-2009: Seeb, 2010: Al Ittifaq, 2011: Al Nasr, 2012: Seeb, 2013: Saham, 2014-2017: Seeb.