Special Olympics: Emirati citizens leading world’s largest humanitarian sporting event

ABU DHABI, 3rd March, 2019 (WAM) — There are only several days left before the launch of the Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019, when the UAE will host over 7,000 athletes from around the world during the largest global humanitarian sporting event.

The event’s organising committee includes qualified Emiratis who are leading the organisation of the event, to create an unprecedented moment in the history of the Special Olympics.

In statements to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, members of the committee stressed that the UAE is ready to host these games, and all efforts are being made to ensure the success of the event, including preparing sporting facilities, accommodation and training facilities, as well as launching associated programmes, and confirming the participation of some 20,000 volunteers.

Abdullah Al Wuhaibi, Director of Sports Administration at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, stressed that nine sporting facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been prepared according to the international standards to host 24 sports.

He also pointed out that Special Olympics will involve other associated events, including the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Programme, which aims to improve the abilities of athletes to train and compete in the games, and to help them follow a healthy lifestyle by providing free health screenings, services, and education in conjunction with competition events.

Amira Al Muharami, Director of the Volunteers Administration at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said that 20,000 volunteers are registered for the event, while pointing out that they will participate in the ‘Host Cities Programme’, which is the first event that will involve athletes and visiting delegations, who will work closely with the organising committee in every emirate in organising the programme from 8th to 11th March.

Sheikha Al Mazrouei, Director of Legacy and Strategic Planning at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said that the organising committee of the Special Olympics is working on several programmes to assist people of determination, in line with the country’s related vision, while noting that the programmes will not only focus on sports, but they will also include health, education, culture and art.

The opening ceremony will feature the participation of many countries in creating a work of art that will symbolise the solidarity of the Special Olympics and its humanitarian mission. The athletes will also be accompanied by celebrities and public figures who have made important contributions, won many tournaments, and achieved many accomplishments.


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