Young people of determination will form part of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019’s media team after three individuals were recruited to cover the upcoming event in March.
Bilal Hafeez, Christopher Swaminathan and Brendyn Monsorate have been employed as paid members of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and will work within the World Games Unified Press Office. As part of their new role, they will report on the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year.
Bilal, Christopher and Brendyn will source and write stories about the thousands of inspiring people of determination who are participating in the Games. Their stories will be sent to news outlets across the globe along with their bylines, so they receive recognition for their work.
The three men have been developing their skills at Al Noor Training Centre under the guidance of Dubai-based media expert Amit Kakkar.
The LOC of the World Games has been working to champion diversity across the region, leading the way by increasing access to employment opportunities for people of determination, with 12 people of determination employed in various roles across the LOC.
Bilal, 34, has Cerebral Palsy and works as a graphic designer at Abela and Co. He is currently writing an autobiography.
Brendyn, 19, who has Down Syndrome, is keen to work in the entertainment industry and is currently undertaking training in the Al Noor Work Placement Unit.
Christopher, 25, also has Down Syndrome and is interested in technology and electronics. He is currently doing an internship at the Assistive Technology Department of Al Noor. The three men are affectionately known in the Al Noor Training Centre as ‘The BBC’ because of their first names and connection with the media.
The addition of Bilal, Christopher and Brendyn to the World Games Unified Press Office re-emphasizes why Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most unified Games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics movement, with people of determination included in every aspect of the planning and delivery of the event – including helping to develop the concept behind the Opening Ceremony.
Bilal said: “I could never imagine that one day I will be meeting and interviewing People of Determination who will be coming from around the world to participate at the Special Olympics World Games. This recognition is an amazing feeling for me and cannot wait to report on this mega event.”
Christopher said: “Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will give me the kind of exposure I have been looking for and the experience of reporting for the Special Olympics World Games which will be one of the best moments of my life.”
Brendyn said: “I am eagerly waiting to be a part of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 where I will be working as a special correspondent. I am very excited and determined to show the world that everything is possible.”
Amit Kakkar added: “It is my biggest achievement that Brendyn, Bilal and Christopher, the BBC as I fondly call them, have been chosen to report on Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. I have passed on my skills to all three of them and now it is time for them to exhibit their journalistic skills.”
The UAE will welcome more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 between 14-21 March. They will compete in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in what will be the first World Games to be held in the Middle East.