Special Olympics UAE: More than 1000 participants run 1.5km and 3km

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The UAE News Report: Special Olympics UAE and Abu Dhabi Sports Council organized the “Abu Dhabi Inclusion Run” to commemorate the fifth anniversary the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. The event aimed to promote inclusion, foster respect for individuals with different abilities, and encourage societal acceptance. Over 1000 participants took part in the 1.5km and 3km races, held at the Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub, including officials and members of People of Determination clubs and centers, various partners and supporters, and families and friends of People of Determination.

His Excellency Arif Al Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are delighted by the overwhelming community participation in the Abu Dhabi Inclusion Run. It signifies the impact of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, which accelerated support and increased the participation of People of Determination in sports activities. We are inspired by our wise leadership’s commitment to the development and welfare of People of Determination, whose achievements are a source of immense pride to us. We frequently organize inclusive events, in collaboration with Special Olympics UAE, and relevant partners to support the successful integration of People of Determination in sports and to actively engage in the inclusion movement and encourage all members of the community to join us.”

The Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games positively impacted the lives of People of Determination with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many areas, including education, well-being, sports, arts, youth, and leadership. Following the Games, the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024 was introduced, involving the participation of 28 entities and institutions. It aimed to establish an inclusive environment for People of Determination in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Talal Al Hashemi, National Director, Special Olympics UAE, expressed his delight at the strong participation in the Abu Dhabi Inclusion Run “We view the positive societal shift towards inclusion and the involvement of People of Determination as a benchmark for assessing the legacy of the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. This shift is evident through community events, such as this run, where various segments of society join us in celebrating the historic achievements of 2019. We are proud that our athletes have consistently excelled over the past five years, earning medals and podium placements in numerous local, regional, and international competitions. The international recognition of the UAE’s Athletes of Determination and their success tell us that we are on the right track.”

Al Hashemi added: “We are committed to building on the legacy of the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 by promoting unified sports, expanding our initiatives, and collaborating with various partners, People of Determination focused organizations, and the private sector. It is important to emphasize that our athletes’ achievements are the outcome of concerted efforts from all partners. Our aspiration is for our athletes to continue leading the way, positioning the UAE as a leading global model for inclusion and empowerment.”

With over 7,500 athletes from 195 countries, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was deemed the best in Special Olympics International’s 50-year history. It left behind a vibrant legacy, inspiring change, and affirming everyone’s right to participate in the UAE’s progress.

Special Olympics UAE athletes will participate in the World Winter Games, which will be held in Turin, Italy, from March 8 to 16, 2025. Over 2,500 male and female athletes from around the globe will compete in various disciplines.-abdulbasit@theuaenews.com