Coinciding with the Special Olympics UAE Unified Sports Federation Finals being held at 321 Sports on Al Hudayriyat Island, Ahmed Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer, UAE Foundation; and Talal Al Hashemi, National Director, Special Olympics UAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to launch a year-round partnership to promote and deliver a series of national events as part of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools (UCS) program.
The UCS program is a program for schools pre-kindergarten through college that promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create an acceptable school environment that relies on three interrelated Elements: Special Olympics Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement.
It also employs a strategy that unifies all students, with or without disabilities, using sport as a catalyst for social inclusion and attitude and behavior change.
As the lead organization for volunteering and creating positive social impact in the UAE, the Emirates Foundation will support UCS programs by managing a robust year-round volunteer program that is critical to supporting UCS events across the country, including Unified Sports and fusion robots.
“The UAE Foundation has a proud history of supporting Special Olympics, dating back to our pivotal role in Special Olympics World Games 2019. The Foundation prioritizes helping to improve the lives of people of determination Quality initiative. Through this new partnership with Special Olympics UAE, we are able to engage our volunteers and diverse talent across the country in life-changing UCS programs that bring joy and inclusion to school children across the UAE,” Al Shamsi said.
Talal Al Hashemi said: “We believe that our collaboration and partnership with the UAE Foundation will help achieve the goals of Special Olympics, especially for the UFS program, which aims to develop community engagement activities and create an inclusive environment.”
The partnership reaffirms Special Olympics’ passion to strengthen its ambitious social inclusion programme; use all means available to support people of determination; improve the quality of services provided to them; and promote positive behavior through a range of initiatives that focus on sport as a positive .
“As our strategic aim is to create a positive and inclusive environment for people of determination, we are proud of this outstanding partnership with the Emirates Foundation, which will play a key role in supporting our programme,” Al Hashemi added.
As part of an ongoing partnership between the two parties, 92 volunteers donated their time and talents to support the Unified Sports League Finals on 15-16 May, featuring 240 student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from UAE school institutions A two-day tournament in futsal and badminton at the 321 Arena in Abu Dhabi.