ABU DHABI: Special Olympics UAE and Special Olympics Kuwait signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the support of Special Olympics MENA, to support the training and knowledge building of Athletes heading to the World Winter Games Kazan 2022. The partnership will implement new joint programs and activities that help encourage participation in sports among People of Determination with Intellectual Disabilities and knowledge sharing. Through this partnership, the development of health, sports and leadership initiatives will help promote inclusion nationally and regionally.

The signing ceremony took place at the Dubai Sports Council headquarters in Dubai. The agreement was signed by Talal Al-Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, and Rehab Bouresli, National Director of Special Olympics Kuwait, with Nasser Aman Al-Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, and Theyab Al-Rashidi, Kuwait’s Consul General in Dubai in attendance. Special Olympics UAE Athletes, Mohammed Al-Tajer, UAE equestrian champion, and Mariam Theyab, official spokeswoman for the Special Olympics MENA, and representatives from Dubai Sports Council, UAE Winter Sports Federation, and Ski Dubai were also in attendance.

Hashemi, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen our cooperation with Kuwait. The goal of this bilateral agreement is to provide and exchange knowledge and training opportunities between Special Olympics UAE and Special Olympics Kuwait, which will support initiatives including inclusive leadership programs, youth councils and conferences.

“We are preparing our Athletes for the World Winter Games Kazan 2022 and we will provide everything necessary to ensure the training of the Kuwaiti team, during their training period in the UAE, is productive and successful. Through the dedicated support provided by our strategic partners such as the Dubai Sports Council, the UAE Winter Sports Federation, Ski Dubai, and the coaches from People of Determination clubs across the country, we are confident this will be achieved.”

Bouresli said: “This agreement marks the continued collaboration between Kuwait and the UAE, especially in supporting inclusion in society and improving opportunities given to People of Determination to become active participants in society. With the UAE’s experience and exceptional execution in hosting the 2018 Special Olympics Regional Games and the 2019 World Games, we are confident in the care, organization and knowledge that will be provided to all Athletes.

We are grateful for the support of all strategic parties involved, in Kuwait and UAE, to make this collaboration successful for all.” Bouresli took the opportunity to congratulate the leadership and people of the UAE on their upcoming Golden Jubilee, Year of the 50th, as well as the upcoming launch of Dubai Expo 2020.

Meanwhile, Rahma welcomed the MoU between the Special Olympics UAE and Special Olympics Kuwait to promote and spread the culture of sports among People of Determination. The MoU, he said, reflects the support of the wise leadership of UAE and Kuwait for this important segment of our community and provides them with an opportunity to practice their favorite sports, represent their country, and meet their peers in various sports tournaments and forums.

Rahma stressed that this cooperation between the two leading sports institutions will have a significant positive impact on the level of increasing the number of sports practitioners in the category, as well as on raising the level of technical and administrative staff in this important sector.

Special Olympics UAE and Kuwait will work together to develop an annual calendar of various sports events for Athletes, their families, and their caregivers. The MoU will support the joint goal to reach the highest number of sports covered under Special Olympics between the countries. Special Olympics UAE and Kuwait will collaborate on designing and implementing the training programs for managers, referees, and administrators in all sports.

The agreement will support the Unified Games program by providing technical support, training, licensing, and continuous development for volunteers and trainers, which will help establish and develop qualified teams to play these games. This includes the nomination of specialists, as part of the Special Olympics’ health program, to attend specialized training programs on providing healthcare for People of Determination to best suit their health needs and address their concerns.