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Special Olympics World games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Noc News

UAE Special Olympics lays foundation for a more inclusive world

Date : 24 Mar 2019

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 24, 2019: Unified Champion Schools will be set up throughout the United Arab Emirates as part of the legacy from the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 which drew to an end last Thursday.

A series of social initiatives will be put in place, and one of those was the establishment of Unified Champion Schools, a nationwide programme that will pair public school pupils with and without disabilities across the UAE and the region for years to come.

More than 7,500 athletes from 190 countries took part in the largest sporting and humanitarian event which was held in the Middle East and North Africa region for the first time. They took part in 24 sports.

A Mothers of Determination Association will also be formed to meet and support the needs of families of children with intellectual disabilities to allow them to reach their full potential through education and training.

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development and Chairman of the Heritage and Society Committee of the Special Olympics, explained how just days before the Special Olympics began, the UAE leadership launched 31 legislations, initiatives and projects to serve the aspirations of people in sports, education, health and quality of life.

“The experience of the UAE in rehabilitation, inclusion and empowerment of people of determination is a source of pride for all of us,” said Her Excellency Hessa.

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, said there was a collective responsibility to ensure there is “a tangible and lasting legacy” and pledged “to work together for a more inclusive world”.

Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, said: “As we come to the end of the World Games here in UAE, it is the beginning of the next part of our movement’s journey, a journey that started 50 years ago. A journey to a world without discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.”

The next Special Olympics will take place in 2021 in Sweden.

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