FUJAIRAH, Fujairah hosted the final stage of the “Walk Unified” initiative of the Special Olympics, in preparation for hosting the Special Olympics Regional Games on 14th-22nd March, 2018, and the Special Olympics World Summer Games in March 2019.
The initiative, which started at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque Walkway in Fujairah, saw the participation of Sheikh Maktoum bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman of the Fujairah Sports and Culture Club, who was accompanied by Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Saif Al Sharqi, President of the Emirates Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation; Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development and Head of the Heritage and Community Sub-Committee of the Special Olympics Higher Committee; Major General Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghanem Al Kaabi, Commander-in-Chief of the Fujairah Police, as well as several leading figures at the Fujairah Government, People of Determination and various local community members.
“The Emirate of Fujairah, through the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah , and the support of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, aims to offer complete and continuous support and care to People of Determination and organise relevant social, sporting and humanitarian initiatives, out of a firm desire to integrate them into the community and help them achieve their ambitions in life,” Sheikh Maktoum said.
He expressed his pride at Fujairah’s participation in the initiative, which aims to prepare the country to host the Special Olympics Regional and World Games while pointing out that this participation contributes to Fujairah’s progress.
Sport is part of Fujairah’s historical and cultural heritage, and the diversity of the emirate’s natural terrain has enabled to host various events, such as water sports and local and international championships, he added.
“The UAE’s hosting of the Special Olympics Regional and World Games is a source of pride and honour for us all. It also embodies the vision of the wise leadership and the country’s strategy to achieve sustainable social development and strengthen the key role of People of Determination in establishing the UAE’s international stature,” Sheikh Maktoum further added.
The initiative, which was previously hosted by Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Dubai, reaffirms the close and permanent co-operation between the seven emirates, through a humanitarian sporting event that highlights the UAE’s reputation in organising regional and international events and reflects its global stature.
The sports initiative was launched by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 to integrate the people of determination in community events.
The event aims to promote wider inclusion and community understanding and acceptance, as well as to encourage a healthy lifestyle for people of determination.
The Special Olympics IX MENA Games and World Games are part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights the full integration of the People of Determination into the community through the power of sport. The Games will be the most ‘unified’ event in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 will host over 1,200 athletes from 31 countries to compete in 16 different sports, which will be hosted in eight different venues including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.
Source: Emirates News Agency