General Authority of Sports organises Sports Day initiative for people with Down Syndrome
The General Authority of Sports (GAS) organised the ‘Sports Day for People with Down Syndrome’ initiative, in partnership with the Emirates Down Syndrome Society and in the presence of HE Sheikh Suhail bin Butti Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at GAS, to encourage the creation of inclusive sports culture in the society. As part of the ‘Sports for Life’ initiative launched by GAS, the event was hosted by Al Ahli Sport Club to foster sports culture in the community, in accordance with governmental directives aimed at empowering people of determination, encouraging their participation in sports, and providing a better life for them.
The initiative organised various competitions to hone and nurture the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome. The primary goal of the initiative was to foster a competitive spirit among the 108 participants from 14 clubs and sports facilities across the Emirates. Basketball, table tennis, fitness, group aerobics, and bocce ball were among the sports that the participants took part in. In bocce ball, each team sought to move as many of its balls as possible to a point nearer the goal than the opposing team.
HE Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, Secretary General of the General Authority of Sports, said: “Our wise leadership places a high focus on empowering people of determination, especially in increasing their participation in sports and promoting community health. By doing so, we will be able to create an inclusive culture and society as well as promote honest competition, ethics, and high sportsmanship.
He added: “We are extremely proud of the significant feats achieved by the people of determination in sporting across various international games and competitions. We strive to identify and nurture talents among the people of determination as part of our commitment to enhancing the significance of sports as one of the notable features of Emirati society. This also reflects our efforts to strengthen the foundations of a diverse sports community that contributes to solidifying the country's presence in international forums.”
HE Sheikh Suhail bin Butti Al Maktoum addressed the necessity to encourage sports among individuals with Down syndrome and other people of determination by organising various initiatives and sporting events, as well as empowering them to play a significant part in society by providing them with all the resources required to realise their fullest potential and latent abilities.
He added: “The Authority is constantly striving to offer equal sporting opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other people of determination, in accordance with the directives of our wise leadership, which seeks to empower and increase their contributions to the society.”
The General Authority of Sports has implemented numerous initiatives and sports events under the theme ‘For Sport…for Life’, to promote sports participation in communities. It aims to encourage all groups of the society - including the people of determination to take part in sports and incorporate it as a lifestyle. This distinctly exemplifies the ambitious visions and aspirations of our wise leadership.
In addition to strengthening partnerships with relevant entities, the ‘Sports Day for People with Down Syndrome’ initiative focuses on showcasing and nurturing the sports talents of individuals with Down syndrome and increasing their active participation in the society.
The UAE has demonstrated stronger interest in empowering individuals with Down syndrome by supporting them in social, physical, psychological, and athletic endeavours. The country has also devised various strategic plans, legislation, regulations, and programs that provide new opportunities for people of determination, indicating the commitment of the UAE in supporting and improving their quality of life.
In cooperation with its strategic partners, the Authority organises numerous community sports events on a continuing basis to integrate all categories especially the people of determination into the community and enhance their participation in various sporting activities. The Authority strives to continually uphold its responsibilities with regard to providing every form of assistance for the people of determination and taking necessary steps to ensure their participation in sports.
The General Authority of Sports launched the ‘Sports Day for People with Down Syndrome’ initiative for the second consecutive year after organising it together with its several strategic partners the previous year. In keeping with its strategic aims to empower and inspire all segments of society to practice sports, this move reflects and strengthens the Authority's interest in the sport of people of determination.