Special Olympics UAE concluded the third and final round of the Unified Floorball Tournament at Al Thiqah Club for the Disabled in Sharjah, supported by the UAE Winter Sports Federation, who provided referees and technical experts and the Unified Partners who played with Special Olympics UAE’s Athletes.
The tournament, organized by Special Olympics UAE, held two previous rounds in Al Ain and Dubai, bringing the total number of participants to 110 male and female players and 30 coaches and technicians from various clubs and centers for People of Determination across the UAE. The Unified Floorball Tournament was held as part of the plan to prepare Athletes for the Winter World Games Kazan, taking place in January 2023.
– We were pleased to meet Special Olympics UAE’s Athletes, and witness their Floorball training. Special Olympics UAE empowers People of Determination in the community by highlighting their unlimited capabilities, and we at the Ministry of Community Development, led by Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, believe in the importance of diversifying areas of social empowerment for People of Determination to enable them to have access to their rights and dedicated services, guaranteeing a better quality of life, said her Excellency Moza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development, during her visit. She attended the Sharjah games, in which 30 players from the Special Olympics UAE, representing three main clubs, competed: Al Thiqah Club for the Disabled, Ras Al Khaimah Club for People of Determination, and Khorfakkan Club for the Disabled.
– We also welcome Special Olympics Kuwait, who have come to participate in the Unified Floorball Tournament in their second home, the UAE, and we take pride in contributing to building knowledge and skills of sports for People of Determination across the Arab world, she added.
His Excellency Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, said: – We are pleased to witness the success of the Unified Floorball Tournament, and we are happy with our Athletes’ wonderful performance and the enthusiasm in all the matches, which shows the positive reception to this new sport for the Special Olympics community in our region. The tournament confirms that the training of our teams is steadily progressing for the World Winter Games in Kazan, which we will be participating in three sports: floorball, figure skating and cross-country skiing with more than 18 players.
– The wonderful participation of the floorball team from Special Olympics Kuwait for our last round in Sharjah came to achieve the goal of the memorandum of understanding signed between us, which aims to strengthen the bonds of co-operation between the two parties, he added.
– Our partnership with Special Olympics UAE will continue to support People of Determination in their preparations for Kazan 2022. They truly are champions, from whom we expect a lot of medals, just like in the World Games in 2019, said Hamel Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Vice President of the UAE Winter Sports Federation.
Training course for football coaches and referees
To further grow floorball in the UAE and the region, a floorball seminar and technical course was led by Steen Houman, Global Floorball Advisor and World Winter Games Technical Delegate. Steen presented a theoretical and practical seminar over three days with the participation of 25 coaches and trainers from clubs and centers for People of Determination across the UAE and the region. Watch some of the highlights from here.
Special Olympics Kuwait makes a Distinguished Participation
Special Olympics Kuwait joined the last round of the tournament with their Unified Floorball team, consisting of eight players, in line with the memorandum of understanding signed between Special Olympics UAE and Special Olympics Kuwait, signed in August 2021.
– The cooperation with the Special Olympics UAE was fruitful, and supports training, development and sharing positive experiences between the teams, and this contributes to our ability to provide the best support for people with intellectual disabilities, said Her Excellency Rehab Bouresli, National Director of Special Olympics Kuwait, on the Kuwaiti participation in the competition.
About Special Olympics UAE
In October 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced Special Olympics UAE as an independent organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Her Highness Sheikha Maryam Bint Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed as the Honorary President, and Her Excellency Shamma Bint Suhail Al Mazroui as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The organization aims to empower people with intellectual disabilities through sports while providing them with leadership opportunities to help them display their talents and integrate them with the mainstream society.
Special Olympics UAE has launched a variety of community programs, including those focused on families and young athletes. It has also introduced a number of initiatives to empower people with intellectual disabilities to create a more inclusive society.
The Special Olympics of the UAE received international recognition from the International Special Olympics Foundation-USA in December 2017.