June 26 - Princess Haya (pictured), the President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, is to be the global patron of the Manchester-based World Academy of Sport (WAoS).

The Princess, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee and represented Jordan in show jumping at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, will help to ensure that the messages and initiatives of the WAoS reach all parts of the world supported by the world body and the International Advisory Board (IAB).

"The appointment of Princess Haya is an important milestone for the WAoS in the development of our global operations," said Sir Howard Bernstein, the IAB vice-chairman and chief executive of Manchester City Council.

"I look forward to welcoming Princess Haya to Manchester and I am delighted that such a renowned leader shares our vision of supporting global sporting education and development.

"Manchester has great education, sport and community programmes which have been combined to create a unique model for sport.

"The WAoS allows us as a city to further develop and share such knowledge with other cities and countries around the world."

The WAoS, which was launched in 2005, styles itself the education partner in world sport, working with several leading federations, including the International Rugby Board and International Paralympic Committee, and provides both athlete and executive training programmes on a global basis.

Princess Haya said: "I am delighted to accept the position of global patron of the World Academy of Sport and look forward to working with the Academy to provide industry relevant education in all parts of the world."