Special Olympics UAE Women’s Unified Football Teamtakes off to Japan ahead of World Games Berlin2023

Special Olympics UAE Women’s Unified Football Teamtakes off to Japan ahead of World Games Berlin2023

Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates, January 17th, 2023: Special Olympics UAE’s Women’s Unified Football team is headed to Japan for a week-long training camp ahead of its participation in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 in June.

16 team members will be headed to Japan on January 20th, including six Special Olympics UAE Athletes, five Unified Partners, their coach, and the supporting technical and administrative staff.

The training camp aims to socially integrate Athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their peers from the unified partners through sport, based on the United Nations’ 10th sustainable development goal. The camp will also support spreading the culture of sports among women, implementing the United Nation’s 5th sustainable development goal of promoting gender equality.

The week-long camp is organized by UAE Football Association, Japan Football Association (JFA.JP), Japan Football Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (JFFID), Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry – Japan (METI). This training camp will focus on growing and enhancing the technical skills of both countries’ Athletes, signaling the consolidated relations between the UAE and Japan.

This camp will also raise Athletes’ readiness for the World Games Berlin 2023, as the UAE delegation will participate in it with one of the largest delegations from the MENA Region, comprising 75 Athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities, 32 unified partners, and the administrative and technical staff.

His Excellency Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, said: “I would like to thank Japan Football Association (JFA.JP), Japan Football Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability (JFFID), and all the organizing partners for hosting this training camp. Seeing Athletes train together confirms our strong bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries. We are working together, sharing knowledge and different experiences and technical skills, which impacts both entities positively, and puts our Athletes on the right track for the upcoming World Games 2023.”

His Excellency added: “We encourage our Athletes to be part of all international events and tournaments, as this helps them explore new countries and learn more about other cultures. This is the legacy of the World Games Abu Dhabi 2019; inspiring People of Determination and supporting the culture of inclusion in society and sports.”

The Special Olympics UAE National Women’s Football team made a remarkable achievement in 2022 by securing second place in their group at the Special Olympics Unified Cup Detroit 2022.

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About Special Olympics UAE:

In October 2017, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced Special Olympics UAE as an independent organization dedicated to changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Her Highness Sheikha Maryam Bint Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was appointed as the Honorary President, and Her Excellency Shamma Bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

The organization aims to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through sports while providing them with leadership opportunities to help them display their talents and integrate them with the mainstream society.

Special Olympics UAE has launched a variety of community programs, including those focused on families and young athletes. It has also introduced a number of initiatives to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to create a more inclusive society.

The Special Olympics of the UAE received international recognition from the International Special Olympics Foundation-USA in December 2017. 

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