Special Olympics UAE Sign MoU With Zayed University

Special Olympics UAE Sign MoU With Zayed University
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Published November 16th, 2017 - 13:34 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019 logo
Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019 logo

Special Olympics UAE and the local organising committee today held an event in partnership with Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, to announce the venue as a partner for the upcoming Special Olympics IX MENA Games, Abu Dhabi 2019, and Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019.

The MoU nominates Zayed University to act as a training venue for the games’ volunteer programme, and the university will pay a major part in helping to source volunteers via its student body and assisting in the training of volunteers. As part of the agreement, Zayed University will also introduce several Special Olympics themed syllabuses as part of the university curriculum.

As part of the event, Olympic World Champion, Allyson Felix, who is currently in the UAE on behalf of Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019, gave a speech encouraging students to sign up and get involved as volunteers at the games.

Allyson was recently challenged by NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, to coach Special Olympics sprinters for the upcoming games and attended a Special Olympics takeover at TrainYAS last night to coach dozens of Special Olympics athletes.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, President of Zayed University, expressed gratitude for Abu Dhabi's hosting of the 2019 Special Olympics, placing the capital as the first city in the Middle East and North Africa to organise this major international event, which is dedicated to those with intellectual disabilities.

"Naming them People of Determination translates our wise leadership's vision towards their capabilities. Many People of Determination grasp special talents and the key to becoming innovators in various fields. We’re proud to note numerous names that shine in culture and art exhibitions. It is important to encourage competition amongst People of Determination, increase their capabilities and enhance their self-confidence," she said.

Professor Reyadh Almehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, said, "Under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates has firmly established itself as a role model for tolerance, inclusion and a leader in the fight against all forms of discrimination." He explained, "To strengthen the UAE’s commitment to creating a better and happier society, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa dedicated 2017 as the #Year of Giving, with one of the major themes being 'promoting the spirit of volunteerism'. What better way to promote the year of giving than by supporting Special Olympics MENA Games in 2018 and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019? These games are the world’s largest international sporting event for people with intellectual disabilities, with over 7,000 athletes from 170 countries competing before an audience of 500,000 spectators." 3,000 volunteers are needed to support the MENA Games in Abu Dhabi as part of the biggest humanitarian volunteer programme to date in the UAE. The MENA Games will take place from 14th - 23rd March 2018 and over 1,200 athletes of all abilities will descend upon Abu Dhabi to take part in the first major sporting event ahead of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Athletes will take part in 16 different sports in seven venues across Abu Dhabi.

The MENA Games and World Games are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights full integration of people with disabilities into everyday society. The World Games will take place from 14th – 21rd March 2019 and require up to 20,000 volunteers.

Volunteers must be at least 14-years old and commit to a minimum of three days during the games. All volunteers will be required to attend 16-hours of training ahead of the games and there will be opportunities for those with and without intellectual disabilities to get involved.

Information on how to register as a volunteer can be found at the official web-site, www.abudhabi2019.org/volunteers

© Copyright 2017 Emirates News Agency (WAM)

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