Dubai to host padel tournament for athletes with disabilities

The unique sports festival provides athletes of determination a chance to engage competitively in an impressive display of teamwork

By Adeena Siddiqui

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Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 5:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 5:50 PM

Dubai Sports City is gearing up to host the master final of the Inclusive Padel Tour (IPT) this weekend. The unique sports festival provides athletes with disabilities an opportunity to engage competitively in an impressive display of teamwork.

Making its debut in the UAE, the event will feature 20 athletes of determination and 20 able-bodied athletes from around the world at Inspiratus Sports Direct (ISD) Padel in Dubai’s Sports City on November 18.

IPT is a distinctive tournament that unites people with and without disabilities to play and enjoy the sport together.

Conceived by Italian Alessandro Ossola, chairman of the Bionic People Association and a paralympic athlete of the Italian National Athletics Team, IPT aims to make padel an inclusive sport globally. In 2015, Ossola lost his left leg in a bike accident. Today, he walks, runs, and engages in sports with the help of a prosthesis, envisioning a more inclusive future for athletes of all abilities.

The history of the circuit began in 2021 when, after a padel game, Ossola realised that by adding only one rebound for players with disabilities, padel could become the inclusive sport of the future. Following months of matches and training, he launched the first Italian Inclusive Padel Tour.

"Having an international edition in Dubai will help involve more players, enhance visibility, and expand the supportive community of people of determination," said Ossola, whose motto is 'There’s always more life to live'.

Essential to the spirit of inclusivity that the padel tour exemplifies are players from diverse backgrounds, hailing from countries like Italy, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and more. A day before the festival, international padel athletes will conduct a clinic with the children of Heroes of Hope, a UAE-based non-profit organisation for people of determination. "This collaboration marks a significant step in promoting inclusion and diversity in the world of sports," said Diego Neves de Almeida, ardent sports enthusiast and manager of ISD Padel.


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