Panel gears up for Special Olympics

SALALAH, Dec 31 – The Dhofar Branch of the Omani Special Olympics Committee is gearing up to take part in the Special Olympics in 2019 and its qualifying events to be held in early 2018. Special energy was witnessed on Saturday evening at Crowne Plaza Salalah Resort as the Committee hosted the special children, their parents and sponsors for the ensuing events. All stakeholders including partners, who have volunteered to support the Dhofari team, were present on the occasion. The event was presided over by Mohammed bin Abu Bakar al Ghassani, Deputy Chairman of Majlis Ash’shura.
Naif bin Ahmed al Shanfari, Chairman of Dhofar Branch of the Omani Special Olympics Committee, exhorted everyone present to mark end of the year ceremony, to recognise the accomplishments in helping those with special needs and raising much needed awareness on how to improve their lives in the Sultanate. He called for a wide range of awareness in every corner of the governorate to ensure maximum participation to serve the cause of the people with intellectual disabilities. “The goal is to prepare the special needs people to take part in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Special Olympics Regional Games in 2018 and Special Olympics in 2019.”
He also thanked the sponsors who agreed to extend support for coming events as well as those organisations which kept on extending helping hands during the events held to empower the special needs people during the past year. Yousuf bin Awadh Bait Saleem, head coach of badminton, is preparing to take two male and two female players from Dhofar to take part in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Special Olympics Regional Games, which is to take place from 14-23 March 2018 in Abu Dhabi. “The male players are Aiman Bait Maqas and Said Bait Said, while the two female players are Maroa al Saidi and Dalal Bait Sanjor. Their coaches respectively are Yasir Bait Afrar and Lubna al Shanfari,” said Bait Saleem. “The MENA events in 2018 and Special Olympics 2019 would be held at the same venue.
The MENA Region has a strong tradition of hosting regional games for its athletes and national programmes and this will be the ninth edition of the regional games,” he said.
The regional games, according to him, are not only a signature event for the MENA region, but also a major test event for the 2019 world games.
With more than 1,200 athletes from 33 countries competing in 16 different sports, the regional games will provide more excitement, spectacle and inspiration than most sporting events.
They also require a great deal of “people power”, relying upon the involvement of 450 coaches and more than 3,000 volunteers. Several memoranda of understanding were signed during the event.
Important among them were those with Badr al Samaa Hospital in Salalah which offered to provide healthcare to the Special Olympics athletes and Al Nasr Sports Club, which offered to host the Olympic athletes and provide their facilities and stadiums for their use. Sunaa’ al Riyadha Sporting Company offered sports consultancy services to help qualify and train Olympic participants in the field of international football.
Sama Digital Media agreed for imaging services and documentation of activities of the Olympics as well as providing archiving, printing and publishing services.
Snooker World Center is ready to take care of entertainment services of the athletes and Cinematic Lens Company offered to take care of information services and their broadcast on social networking sites.

Kaushalendra Singh