By Duncan Mackay

Andrew Ryan and Dr Ahmad Al-Sharif sign cooperation agreementJuly 5 - A cooperation agreement has been signed between the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), it was announced today.

The Award was launched in 2008 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise and celebrate top Emirati and Arab sports achievers.

A new international category was added for the 2012 Award, which was presented at a special ceremony in Dubai earlier this year.

It is part of Sheikh Mohammed's vision to make Dubai the "global centre for sports creativity, leadership and excellence".

The new four-year deal with ASOIF, the umbrella organisation for the 28 international sports federations on the programme of the Summer Olympics, will initially last four years, it was announced at the official signing ceremony in Lausanne today. 

The deal was signed between Dr. Ahmad Al-Sharif, secretary general of the Award, and Andrew Ryan, executive director of ASOIF, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. 

It will mean that the International Federations will receive recognition for their efforts while the agreement grants the Award rights to use the logo of ASOIF, which includes the highly-prized Olympics Rings, in publications and on its website, to participate in certain events, conferences and activities of ASOIF.

"We have recently held several meetings with ASOIF and provided the members of the Council of ASOIF with a detailed presentation on the award, its objectives and its positive influence over the sports sector in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Nation as well as worldwide," said Al-Sharif.

"We recognised that the goals of the Award and ASOIF are very much aligned in terms of exerting every possible effort to take effective initiatives aimed at promoting the benefits of sports worldwide.

"We have therefore signed this agreement to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two parties thus making it official."

Tawfiq Al Makloufi receiving awardAlgeria's Tawfiq Al Makloufi (right), the London 2012 Olympic 1500m champion, recived an Order or Merit at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Creative Sports Awards held in Dubai in January

The Award was presented for the fourth time earlier this year, with the winners including International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, the British Olympic Association and the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine in the international category and the Qatar Olympic Committee and Algeria's Tawfiq Al Makloufi, the Olympic 1500 metres champion, in the Arab category.

"It is a great honour for ASOIF to work with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award in this partnership and will bring recognition to our members by highlighting the important work they do in the development field of global sport through the myriad programmes they organise," said Ryan.

"The significant work done in this respect by the International Federations often goes unnoticed, so showcasing the best of the projects and programmes and rewarding the most outstanding, will be appreciated by our members."

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