Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) hosted a lengthy meeting with the organizers of the 2018 MENA Special Olympics that will be held in Abu Dhabi in the period 14 to 23 March 2018.
More than 1,200 athletes from 33 countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), will come together to compete in 16 different games. This event will be a preparatory one to host the World Special Olympics 2019 here in the UAE.
The meeting was chaired by HE Aref Hamad Al Awani, ADSC General Secretary, and attended by Peter Wheeler, CEO of the Special Olympics 2019.
In attendance as well were Talal Al Hashemi, ADSC’s director of technical affairs and representatives of Yas Marina Circuit, Zayed Sports City, and New York University Abu Dhabi, Al- Jazira Sports Club, Yas Links and the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel.
At the meeting, HE Aref Hamad Al Awani reaffirmed the attention and support of our wise leaders to the MENA Special Olympics 2018, and the World Special Olympic Games 2019. The meeting also discussed the readiness of facilities and venues that will host the MENA Special Olympics 2018 and the World Special Olympics 2019.
“The attention and support of our wise leaders to the MENA Special Olympics 2018, and the World Special Olympic Games 2019 stem from the objectives of those games. Those games aim to bring together athletes from different parts of the world and from different cultures and backgrounds to meet in one place to promote peace, friendship and tolerance,” Al Awani said.
He also lauded the readiness to host these two international gatherings in Abu Dhabi.
For her part, Shaikha Al Kaabi, CEO of the Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel said, “We are honored to host part of the Special Olympics at our world-class sporting facilities in 2018. This collaboration is a testament of our commitment to support the Special Olympics locally in their mission to transform the lives of people through sport every day.”
John Tate, CEO of Tamkeen, a Government of Abu Dhabi-owned company, said: “Located at an international crossroads, Abu Dhabi is the perfect location and host for athletes from all over the world competing in the Special Olympics. Tamkeen is proud to be supporting this prestigious sporting event, and we look forward to welcoming athletes to our facilities at NYU Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island.”
“NYU Abu Dhabi is honored to be a host venue for the Special Olympics 2018 MENA Games and 2019 World Games. The power of the Games to transform lives through sport, build bridges to common understanding, and leave a legacy that shatters stereotypes, reinforces Abu Dhabi’s aspirations to be an agent of global vision, engagement, and collaboration,” Peter W. Dicce, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Athletics at NYU Abu Dhabi.
For their parts, representatives of hosting venues assured their readiness to host these two events as part of their social responsibilities towards the community.
The Special Olympics is a global event that serves athletes with disabilities, and provides competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, as targeted activities allow them the opportunities to build friendships, develop their physical fitness, their courage, and to experience the joy of participating and sharing their gifts and skills.
The MENA Special Olympics 2018 will be held in Abu Dhabi in the period 14 to 23 March 2018.