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Dubai brings together world football’s biggest stars for friendly match as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Some of international football’s biggest stars came together in Dubai this weekend for a friendly match that took place on the pitches at Dubai Sports World, inside the air-conditioned halls of Dubai World Trade Centre as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge 30 x 30.

The match was organised jointly by Dubai Sports Council and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The players who took part in the match have won every possible title in the world of football, including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, UEFA Champions League as well the Best Player of the Year awards.

The star-studded line-up included Portugal legend Luis Figo, the 2000 Ballon d’Or and 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year winner, who is considered one of the greatest to ever play the game; Carles Puyol, the former Spain captain and winner of the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 European Championships, and Dutch Clarence Seedorf, who is the only player to have won the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs – once with Ajax (1995), once with Real Madrid (1998) and twice with Milan (2003 and 2007).

Seedorf’s Dutch compatriot, Patrick Kluivert who holds the record for being the youngest player to score in the final of the main event on the European continent also took part in the match. He was only 18 years, 10 months and 23 days when he came off the bench to score Ajax’s 85th-minute winner against AC Milan in the 1995 Champions League final.

Frenchman Eric Abidal, the winner of two Champions League titles with Barcelona, also took the pitch alongside the likes of former Spain and Real Madrid star Michel Salgado, Italian goalkeeping legend Walter Zenga, Ghana’s Sulley Muntari and Frenchman Ibrahim Ba.

Mikael Silvestre, former France, Manchester United and Arsenal defender, was also present, cheering his former teammates and rivals from the sidelines as an injury prevented him from playing.

Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of Dubai Sports Council, and Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General of the Council, were present at the game along with Omran Al Jasmi, Manager of External Relations at the Council.

The stars thanked Dubai for providing them with this opportunity to come together and meets friends they had not met for a long time. The players who took part in the match all share a common love for Dubai and are either residents here or regular visitors. A number of them own properties and have plans to invest in Dubai’s growing sports sector.

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Inspired by Her Cancer Struggle, Kan. Teacher’s Class Brings Holiday Cheer to Pediatric Patients

Inspired by Her Cancer Struggle, Kan. Teacher’s Class Brings Holiday Cheer to Pediatric Patients

Angela Holtgraves’ special education students began the Stocking Project in 2017 upon learning of Holtgraves’ own cancer battle

When the holiday season rolls around, hundreds of pediatric cancer patients in Kansas will receive stockings stuffed with toys — and it’s all thanks to teacher Angela Holtgraves and her students.

Holtgraves, 34, is a special education teacher, and for the last three years, has spearheaded a special initiative called Stocking Project with her students to spread goodwill and holiday cheer to those who need it most.

“It’s a nice way for us to help others,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “This is their way of being able to show the world, ‘I might have a disability, but I can still do some pretty incredible things.’”

For Holtgraves, a mom of two based in Olathe, cheering up young oncology patients at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital is personal; she overcame a breast cancer diagnosis at 28, and one of her students was a leukemia survivor. Sharon Houser, the teacher with whom she started the Stocking Project, also has a daughter who is a young breast cancer survivor.

Holtgraves’ students at Shawnee Mission North High School had previously done projects to give back — including making hygiene bags for homeless people — but when they learned of her history with cancer in 2017, switched gears to refocus their efforts.

Courtesy Angela Holtgraves Angela Holtgraves

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Together, they came up with the Stocking Project, which went with Holtgraves when she began teaching at Olathe West High School in 2018.

The group’s initial goal that first year was to create 20 stockings. Instead, they filled 75 in just two weeks, a number that has continued to grow each year for a total of nearly 600.

PEOPLE’s second annual Kindness Issue is dedicated to highlighting the ways, big and small, that kindness can make a difference and change lives. Click here and pick up the issue, on stands Friday, Oct. 30, for more stories on the impact of kindness from Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sterling K. Brown, Heather Locklear and other stars, as well as everyday people practicing kindness in their communities. To share the story of someone who’s done something exceptionally kind, email [email protected]

Holtgraves estimates that she and her students have raised more than $50,000 in donated goods, helped along with gifts from companies like Russell Stover and Sephora, as well as local businesses.

“The sense of pride they get is everything,” she says.

Angela Holtgraves’ students

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Each year, Holtgraves typically dedicates a day in December to filling the stockings, which are broken down by age group and sex, including male, female and gender-neutral patients, with about 20 items each.

Because of COVID-19, however, this year’s plan

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