ABU DHABI, Special Olympics UAE and the Arab Badminton Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership to develop Badminton across Special Olympics competitions.

The partnership includes the organisation of theoretical and practical training programmes for athletes, coaches, and support staff to ensure the empowerment and inclusion of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities in society, while enhancing and developing their sports capabilities. The progress in the sports provision available further positions the UAE as a global champion for People of Determination with intellectual disabilities.

The virtual signing of the MoU was attended by delegations of the Special Olympics UAE, the Arab Badminton Federation, Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa and the Arab Sports Council (the Arab Sports Federations). The MoU was signed by Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE and Dr. Sawsan Haji Taqwi, President of the Arab Badminton Federation.

On this occasion, Al Hashemi said, "We are delighted to be taking our close collaboration with the Arab Badminton Federation to the next level with this MoU. Special Olympics UAE seeks out strategic partnerships that allow us to empower our Athletes through sports and other development opportunities. The MoU will positively contribute to increasing interest and demand for Badminton, a simple and pleasant sport of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities, within the Special Olympics community in the UAE."

Dr. Taqwi stated, "The partnership is a result of successful collaboration between both entities which began with the virtual summer programme to teach badminton skills to People of Determination with intellectual disabilities. We look forward to increasing the existing level of collaboration, developing badminton as Special Olympics sport at competition levels and launching several sports development programmes. Our aims and targets are in line with the strategy in place to support People of Determination with intellectual disabilities across Arab societies."

"We commend Special Olympics UAE’s growing role, led by Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs,, and the team led by Talal Al Hashemi, National Director. We often still reflect on the success of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. UAE continues to send a global humanitarian message and sheds a positive light on our Athletes, the People of Determination with intellectual disabilities, and it activates regional efforts aimed at empowering them. We look forward to joining our expertise and aligning our goals to achieve common targets," she added.

In line with Special Olympics UAE’s vision to establish strategic partnerships with various regional and international sports institutions and bodies, the MoU will be activated throughout the year. This is based on Special Olympics UAE 2018-2021 Strategy that aims to empower and integrate People of Determination with intellectual disabilities through sports and provide diverse services to Athletes, families, and caregivers. In addition, Special Olympics UAE focuses on training and education opportunities to spread awareness on active and healthy lifestyles by building fruitful partnerships with different stakeholders in the government and the community.

Source: Emirates News Agency