• Over 600 volunteers are required to help stage the UAE Games
• The UAE Games will take place from 19 – 22 March 2020 at NYUAD
• More than 650 athletes of determination with intellectual disabilities are expected to participate in the UAE Games
• People of Determination are encouraged to sign up as volunteers
UAE, 24 February 2020: Special Olympics UAE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Emirati Marshals to help recruit more than 600 volunteers to help stage the first-ever Special Olympics UAE Games from 19 – 22 March at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), this year.
Over 600 volunteers will be required across areas including sports, health, delegations and non-sports events as Abu Dhabi hosts the first-ever UAE Games. Volunteers from all walks of life are encouraged to sign up, including people of determination, people with a positive attitude and a willingness to help and those with specialized skills.
Emirati Marshals, which is a professional sports volunteer programme in the UAE, will help to train and manage the volunteers.
Special Olympics UAE is also partnering with Emirates Foundation to utilize its volunteers.ae volunteering management system to support the Special Olympics UAE team in the registration and data management process of volunteers signing up for the UAE Games.
Talal Al Hashemi, Managing Director of Special Olympics UAE, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with Emirati Marshals and Emirates Foundation to recruit volunteers for the upcoming UAE Games. Every single volunteer who works at the UAE Games will witness the power of the Special Olympics movement as they help to create a more inclusive UAE for all.
“Thousands of volunteers from the recent World Games spoke of their life-changing experience at the event and we are looking forward to having even more people across this great nation join our inclusion movement.”
Mohamed Al Shateri, Emirati Marshals Managing director, said: “We are excited for this partnership with Special Olympics UAE and happy to repeat this great experience with the Emirati volunteers during one of the most inclusive sporting events in the UAE for athletes of determination.
“We look forward to providing the best levels of support during the whole period of the Games and encourage everyone to sign up on volunteers.ae, the official volunteers platform in the UAE.”
Over 650 athletes of determination with intellectual disabilities from across the UAE will participate in the UAE Games, which will feature six different sports, including Basketball, Athletics, Volleyball, Badminton, Swimming and Powerlifting, and will see the hundreds of UAE nationals and residents who make up the UAE team going head-to-head against each other for three days of competition at New York University Abu Dhabi.
The UAE has made inclusivity a priority within its National Vision 2021. The term ‘people of determination' was introduced in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as part of a new National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities. A wide range of initiatives to support people of determination have been implemented in the UAE at a local and federal level.
Last year, the UAE hosted the largest and most unified Special Olympics World Games in the history of Special Olympics, with over 7,500 athletes representing more than 190 nations and the inclusion of people of determination with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event. The World Games were held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and were an integral part of local, national and regional plans to expand opportunities for people of determination in line with Abu Dhabi and the UAE's shared vision of a unified and inclusive society.
Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. In 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former President John F Kennedy founded Special Olympics. She had a sister with intellectual disabilities and wanted to see change in society
Volunteers can participate in different forms starting from the age 15 years and above and younger participants are welcomed to volunteer as well with a family member. All volunteers will be required to attend 1-2 days of training ahead of the Games and there will be opportunities for those with and without disabilities to get involved.