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Nick Watson and his son Rio during a triathlon in Umm al Qaiwain

UAE urges residents to show support for Special Olympics athletes

ABU DHABI, February 26, 2019

People across the UAE are being encouraged to turn out in full force to cheer on the 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations who will be competing at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 as part of the Fans in the Stands (FITS) initiative.

With less than 20 days to go until the official start of the largest sports and humanitarian event on the planet, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the World Games is calling on people to show their support for a more inclusive and unified society by cheering on all the athletes competing in 24 Olympic-style sports taking place across 9 venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from March 14-21.

FITS is open to everyone, from corporations and private organisations to schools, universities, clubs and government entities. Whether it is banners, flags or making some noise, the attendance of spectators is invaluable and will inspire the athletes even more as they go for gold at the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event of 2019. 

FITS will be the driving force for large groups of people getting behind the athletes. Through an ongoing educational outreach program that has seen schools throughout the UAE learn about disability and inclusion, FITS has already attracted more than 60,000 students across the nation.

Presenting Partner Adnoc has pledged 500 staff members to attend the Games every day from March 15–20, and partners KPMG and Al Masaood have also embraced the opportunity to commit employees to take part as fans. Among other entities who have already made their pledges and hope other companies across the UAE will follow suit are General Electric, Corniche Hospital, The Club Abu Dhabi, Haddins Fitness and EFS Facilities Services, which has committed 2,000 employees to attend World Games competitions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Khalfan Mohammed Al Mazrouei, managing director at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said: “The UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities, and with almost 200 nations coming to the Games we hope that this country’s diverse population will come to cheer on not just the UAE team or their visiting home nations, but every single athlete of determination who is taking part in this event."
 
We have over 25 programs competing for the first time, enabling People of Determination from some of the remotest parts of the world to show their talent on a global stage – their determination to participate merits our applause, and we hope to see every single person across the UAE at the Games pledging their support for a more inclusive world.”
 
On top of watching the 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports, there will also be a Cultural Olympiad of family-friendly entertainment on offer in designated festival areas and other activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in celebration of the World Games.

Organisations who want to get involved in the FITS program can email fans@abudhabi2019.org or visit www.meetthedetermined.com. - TradeArabia News Service




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