The President of the Jordanian University Athletic Union, also President of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Professor Mashhoor Al-Refai, presided over the opening ceremony of the Sixteenth Winter Games. The tournament, held in Aqaba between the 3rd and 9th of February, 2017, is organized by the Jordanian University Athletic Union with the participation of 17 government and private universities. Attending the event were the heads of 13 universities and all of the Deans of Student Affairs from the participating universities, in addition to a number of officials and supporters from Aqaba.
During his speech at the opening ceremony, Professor Al-Refai welcomed Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, which recently joined the Jordanian University Athletic Union.
Professor Al-Refai stated that the tournament is part of the birthday celebrations for the nation’s leader, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, may God protect him. Since assuming his constitutional powers, His Majesty has dedicated himself to raising the standard of living in the country, and pays particular attention to the young generation as the builders of the future. This journey, laden with accomplishments, has painted a shining chapter in the history of Jordan, and one of its most prominent features is His Majesty’s focus on the youth, based on his belief that they have a great role to play in the development and success of society. For this reason, the King has concentrated on the founding of institutions, organizations and centers that work on developing the qualifications of young people in a bid to bring about a generation capable of meeting the challenges the lay ahead in this century.
Professor Al-Refai continued, saying that “in embodiment of PSUT’s belief in the role played by the Jordanian University Athletic Union, and in recognition of the importance of sports, several regular meetings have been held over the past academic year between the deans of Student Affairs and the directors of sporting events from the Jordanian universities. Those meetings were a chance to exchange opinions and make suggestions regarding the Union’s activities, and one of the outcomes was the creation of the Union’s new website. Also, new sports have been added to the list of those organized by the Union, among them equestrian sports and athletics. One of the most important events organized by the Union during the past academic year was the largest sports tournament ever held between the Jordanian universities. The success of this tournament keeps it in line with the vision of Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chair of the Board of Trustees at PSUT, which is to produce an outstanding generation, ready to step into leading positions in the diverse fields of academic life. To achieve that aim, it is also crucial to develop and hone the skills of tomorrow’s generation in extra-curricular activities.
Professor Al-Refai indicated that the universities are the bedrock of society’s advancement and prosperity, and their mission can be summarized as being the enrichment and development of students’ knowledge, to build an individual who is complete, intellectually, physically, spiritually and morally. The tools to achieving that mission are sound teaching, scientific research, the undertaking of studies, and the organization of extra-curricular activities, all working together to polish the student’s character.
There was a pause in the opening ceremony, during which Professor Mashhoor Al-Refai, President of the Jordanian University Athletic Union and President of PSUT, was awarded the university shield by the President of the Hashemite University in recognition of his continuing efforts in supporting sporting events within Jordanian universities.
The Sixteenth Annual Winter Games cover championships in a wide range of sports, including men’s five-a-side football, the ladies’ marathon, and ladies’ badminton, with the competitors being divided into groups. The universities represented at the Games are the University of Jordan, Yarmouk, JUST, Al al-Bayt University, Mu’tah, Al Hussein bin Talal, the Hashemite University, Al-Balqa' Applied University, Tafila Technical University, the Islamic Sciences University, Zarqa, the Applied Science University, the German-Jordanian University, Philadelphia, PSUT, University of Petra, and Al-Zaytoonah University.