A further 17,000 volunteers are required for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 - the region’s biggest ever volunteer effort

20 February 2018, Abu Dhabi: In just over three short months, over 9,000 volunteers have signed up to volunteer for Special Olympics IX MENA Games Abu Dhabi 2018 (14 – 22 March).

With the IX MENA Games just around the corner, registration to volunteer for this year’s Games has now closed, but the search for helpers is not over yet. Over 20,000 volunteers are still required for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and residents of the UAE are being called upon to register for the biggest volunteer effort the region has ever seen.

Volunteers will be integral to the success of the Games and their role could not be more important. There are several possible roles for Special Olympics volunteers, including events management, protocol, communications, marketing and many more. Some require specialized and advanced skills; many only need a positive attitude and the willingness to pitch in and help. Those interested in volunteering can sign up on: http://www.abudhabi2019.org/volunteers

Ameera AlMuharrami, Director of the Volunteers Program at Special Olympics, said: “The volunteer program offers UAE residents the chance to be involved in the biggest humanitarian sporting event the region has ever seen. Volunteers will be involved in influencing positive change across the region and in changing general perceptions of people of determination. The assistance of volunteers has often been noted at world sporting games and UAE residents have an opportunity to show their willingness, helpful and positive attitudes on a global stage.”

Special Olympics IX MENA Games and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights full integration of people of determination into everyday society. Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most ‘unified’ games in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.

More than 1,000 athletes from 32 countries will travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in MENA IX Games, which will be the first major sporting event ahead of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Athletes will take part in 16 different sports that 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.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see the biggest humanitarian sporting event in the world coming to the Emirati Capital, marking its first debut in the history of the MENA region.

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About the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi (AD2019)
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, scheduled for March 8-22, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world, with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 170 countries. The World Games will be an unprecedented display of the spirit, joy, courage and skill that are hallmarks of Special Olympics movement. The largest single event ever held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East and North Africa, the World Games features 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in venues throughout Abu Dhabi. The spectacular Opening Ceremony on March 14 is expected to attract 45,000 spectators while being viewed by millions worldwide via global broadcast partners ESPN and Abu Dhabi Media.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the 2019 World Games will be the most unified Special Olympics competition in history, with inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event. The Games are the most visible component of a planned series of initiatives by Abu Dhabi and the UAE to expand opportunity for people with disabilities, and to promote inclusion and understanding throughout the emirate, nation, and region. Plans for operation of the World Games include leaving a legacy of improved health, education, and inclusion that will benefit the UAE long after the event is over.