Libya’s Special Olympics programme includes 10,443 athletes

11 March 2018, Abu Dhabi: Libya has confirmed that it will send a mission of 39 people to represent the country at Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

The athletes will compete across eleven sports including athletics, basketball, weightlifting, table tennis, ice skating, badminton, volleyball, equestrian and hockey. IX MENA Games takes place from March 18 - 22 in Abu Dhabi across eight different venues.

The Libyan Special Olympics was established in 1998 and has been working hard since its inception to support people with intellectual disabilities. The programme currently includes 10,443 athletes.

Khalid Mohammed Al Rokibi, President of the Libyan Special Olympics, congratulated the United Arab Emirates and Special Olympics UAE for hosting IX MENA Games, as well as the International Summer Games in 2019, highlighting the importance of this achievement for the UAE and the region as a whole.

"We wish success to our brothers in the UAE for hosting the regional and international games,” said Rokibi. “The UAE is a great example to people with intellectual disabilities and the state's policy of categorizing them as ‘people of determination’ reflects their spirit per-fectly.”

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 determi-nation 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 31 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 dif-ferent 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.

- ENDS -

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.