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Over 20,000 to volunteer for Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on February 20, 2019
Over 20,000 to volunteer for Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi


The games' volunteer programme is the largest in the UAE to date.

Emiratis constitute over 40 per cent of the 20,000 people who have registered to volunteer at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. These 20,000 men and women will help stage what is said to be the biggest sports and humanitarian event of the year.

The games' volunteer programme is the largest in the UAE to date and will see thousands of people from across the country and around the world work alongside people of determination to host the event.

Indian and Egyptian nationals are the second and third, respectively, on the list of volunteers. Additionally, more than half (54 per cent) of those who have registered to volunteer are females. This is "a significant figure considering that the games will also feature a record breaking number of female athletes - more than 3,200", according to the organisers.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see over 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations compete from March 14 to 21.

The volunteers will play an integral role in the run up to and during the games, undertaking various roles across nine different areas: Operations, event management, translation, communications, transportation, guest services, sports and technology.

Among the volunteers will be 3,000 people who assisted during the Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 in Abu Dhabi. Serving as 'Pioneers', they will form the core of the volunteering team and serve as ambassadors and advocates for the games. Their roles will include engaging with the athletes and promoting the Special Olympics values of inclusion and unity throughout the UAE.

Ameera Al Muharrami, director of volunteers for the games, said: "We are thrilled to hit our ambitious target of 20,000 people to volunteer at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. There has been a great response from people of different nationalities and ages, and this shows how much the spirit of volunteerism has spread across the nation.

"The support of each and every volunteer is invaluable in ensuring the success of the Games. Their participation will help change perceptions of people of determination, as well as set the standard for inclusivity, not just in the UAE, but globally. It promises to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Volunteer looking forward to creating inclusive society

Ahmed Al Bulooshi, who volunteered at the Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018, is among the thousands who have registered for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

"Volunteering at IX MENA Games last year was a life-changing experience and one which I will never forget. I am thoroughly looking forward to showing my support once again and helping to create and more unified society for all people of determination."

KT Nano Edit: Enriching experience

Even as volunteers will be of immense help at the games, the experience will be an enriching one for the scores of young men and woman who have volunteered. While offering insights into social issues and the inner workings games of such magnitude, it will also boost self-confidence and help individuals out of their comfort zones.

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