Games Maker to changemaker: Ahamed Sulaiman's Olympic journey

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Games Maker to changemaker: Ahamed Sulaimans Olympic journey
Ahmed Sulaiman (in yellow) with the cricket team comprised of all blue collar workers, who won the Hello FM Salam Trophy 2015

Dubai - Ahamed Sulaiman wants to dedicate his life helping the less privileged classes realise their talents


Ankita Chaturvedi

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Published: Tue 27 Sep 2016, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Tue 27 Sep 2016, 10:18 PM

Indian national Ahamed Sulaiman - the just returned Games Maker from the Rio Olympics and Summer Paralympics 2016 - is a true inspiration for all the hardworking blue collar workers in the UAE.
He is back in town with an aim to motivate all service sector employees like who have dreams of excelling in sporting or cultural activities, with the belief "no dreamer is too small; no dream is too big".
Sulaiman wants to dedicate his life to raising awareness in these fields. The less privileged classes hold so much hidden talent, with hardly any avenue for it to come out, he thinks.
The 40-year-old, who also volunteers for several NGOs in the UAE, said: "My only goal nowadays is to encourage and push as many talented people as possible from the various labour accommodations in the country. Some of them are amazingly talented, but don't get the right opportunities. With my volunteer work, I am planning to boost their confidence levels and support them in realising their dreams. For instance, this guy I know - Ranjith from Sri Lanka - works as a cleaner in a commercial building in Abu Dhabi, but he could be a national level cricketer if given a chance."
Overcoming hurdles
Sulaiman himself is an ordinary guy with extraordinary qualities whose passion and dedication finally took him to the Olympics this year, after a lot of struggles and hurdles. He'd had dreamt of participating in the Olympics since age 8, but his athletic prowess couldn't surpass the state-levels in India. Not one to give up, Sulaiman kept his options open and snapped up the Games Maker position when offered the opportunity this year.
He plans to go on to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and has even started preparing to apply for it.
To give an idea of just how long it took for him to get picked for the Olympics, and all the selection procedures involved, Sulaiman says: "It took almost 3 years, with telephone and video conferencing interviews. It's not difficult to apply: you can just do it to the Olympics website, but the hiring process is slow."
Manjula Ramakrishnan, a core member at the Smart Life Foundation where Sulaiman volunteers, thinks its his dedication that sets him apart from everyone in the team. "His story is an inspiration for the rest of our members and everyone else who wants to achieve similar things. He brought glory to 2 countries - India and the UAE - with his work at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics 2016."

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