More Than A Sporting Competition
The Local Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games 2019 rolled out an extensive community engagement program to raise awareness, educate, inspire the public with the Special Olympics movement, and encourage tolerance in the community about people with intellectual disabilities.
Initiatives are running daily in schools and community spaces across Abu Dhabi and the UAE to create unity and understanding between the public and people of determination with intellectual disabilities.
Adopt a Nation
The ‘adopt a nation’ program has been rolled out as a platform to engage students with Special Olympics by promoting the study of the values and cultures of the nation’s competing in World Games 2019. Each school adopts a competing nation to study, which culminates in them cheering on their country at the Games. The programme aims to leave a lasting legacy of diversity and inclusion in the schools, while also providing lots of enthusiastic fans to cheer on the amazing athletes coming to Abu Dhabi.
The initiative is designed to engage the whole school, as well as the children who are typically sporty. This is achieved by integrating various aspects of the adopted nation into the school curriculum, including arts and crafts, technology and music. Schools have further embraced the movement by participating in Play Unified sports activities by hosting sports matches for their students in teams including people of determination with intellectual disabilities.
In preparation for the World Games 2019, the program will be growing from April onwards and will look to involve over 150 schools from around UAE.
Fans in the Stands
The program invites schools and partners to attend the Games as a mean of encouragement to the athlete. The schools attend the Games based on the dates associated with their adopted nations competing on the day for support.
The aim is to engage schools from around the UAE to come to World Games 2019 to support and cheer the athletes from their adopted nation.
In the spirit of inclusion, celebrities in the entertainment industry and world of sports from around the globe become ambassadors to raise awareness to the important work of Special Olympics. Moreover, each of our adopted schools will select an ambassador to lead out their nation at the Opening Ceremony.
Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. About 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports®, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a fun and engaging way.
Walk Unified is an initiative solely developed and launched by Local Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi It aims to bring people together and inspire healthy lifestyles. The UAE has a broader goal to integrate people with intellectual disabilities into social initiatives and Walk Unified does just that. The Committee invites everyone including partners such as ZHO, SEDRA, GOALS UAE, Future Centre and New England Centre for Children to join in these activities, making it truly unified. The walk is a weekly event and will resume in the upcoming months.
Global Leadership Summit
Opinion leaders from the government, business, media and philanthropy, policymakers and experts in sports, health and education will convene to address how to build a more inclusive world for all people while following the unified example of Special Olympics athletes.