Dubai is gearing up for the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens this weekend but did you know that Emirates has its very own all-female rugby team comprised entirely of serving cabin crew? The 15 strong team, known as the EK Firebirds, have been training for the past six months in preparation for the competition.
Representing 14 nationalities, including rugby-mad countries like the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand, other members come from the Philippines, Czech Republic and Namibia. Somehow, the members have managed to find time to organise themselves and train at the Sevens stadium in Zaabeel Park.
The EK Firebirds started life back in 2012 as a ‘touch rugby’ team with just four members – it’s developed into a fully practising contact rugby sevens club and the team has even competed in several tournaments. Ahead of taking part in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament, the team met up with the USA Women’s Eagles for a mini training camp yesterday.
Now in its 49th year, the 2018 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens kicks off on Friday at The Sevens Stadium. This year is set to be the largest event on record with over 900 rugby and netball matches held across three days. Emirates is a title sponsor of the event and its cabin crew will be in attendance handing out its ‘Come Fly With Me’ mascots for younger fans.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.