SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETES WILL PLAY ALONGSIDE NFL STARS, FOOTBALL LEGENDS AND OLYMPIANS AT WORLD GAMES

UAE, 14 March 2019: Special Olympics athletes will have the chance to show off their sporting skills alongside a number of NFL players, football legends and Olympians at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 as part of a series of Unified Sports Experiences.

The Unified Sports Experiences, which began on 13 March with former figure skater Michelle Kwan competing in golf, will continue until 20 March, featuring a series of exciting activations and clinics.

NFL stars Jamaal Charles, now retired, and Joe Haden through his foundation, 1 Strong All Great, will also be sharing their expertise thanks to a partnership with the Emirates American Football League. Pittsburgh Steelers’ cornerback, Haden and former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Charles will be leading an American football clinic on 16 and 17 March from 9am – 12pm at Zayed Sports City.

Taking to the football pitch are Brazilian World Cup winners Romario and Cafu as well as former Chelsea and Marseille striker Didier Drogba. Ex-Ivory Coast captain Drogba will be interacting with the Special Olympic athletes on Friday 15 March during a clinic and will be joined by fellow legends Cafu and Romario every day at Zayed Sports City from 17-20 March.

Olympic gold medallist and one of the most decorated female Olympians in the world, Allyson Felix, will also lead a sprint clinic as part of the experiences. This will be Felix’s second visit to the UAE after she took on Kobe Bryant’s challenge to coach Special Olympics athletes back in November 2017. 

Special Olympics athletes will also have the opportunity to participate in two football clinics with Manchester City Football Academy. Students from New York University Abu Dhabi will be lending their skills and will help run the Unified Sports Experiences and help coach participating teams.  

The Unified Sports Experiences will take place  across the Games’ venues and on a dedicated Play and Live Unified Zone at Zayed Sports City. While most of the experiences will see honoured guests, VIPs and sponsors participating, the public can help create a vibrant atmosphere by cheering on the athletes. The experiences aim to promote inclusion and break down barriers by bringing together people with and without intellectual disabilities and allowing them to play on teams alongside each other.  

Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most unified World Games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics movement with more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations competing.

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has played an active role in promoting inclusivity in communities across the UAE and has held several successful unified events, including the popular ‘Walk Unified’ initiative.

 

UNIFIED SPORTS EXPERIENCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday 13 March

Golf

Yas Links

07:30-14:00

Friday 15 March

Football

Zayed Sports City

16:00-18:00

Saturday 16 March

Table Tennis

ADNEC

17:30-19:00

 

Beach Volleyball

Corniche

20:00-22:00

Sunday 17 March

Handball

ADNEC

14:00-16:00

 

Football

Zayed Sports City

16:00-18:00 

Basketball

ADNEC

18:30-20:30

Monday 18 March

Badminton

ADNEC

13:30-15:00

Kayaking

Sailing and Yacht Club

14:00-16:00

Football

Zayed Sports City

16:00-18:00

Tuesday 19 March

Tennis

Zayed Sports City

14:00-16:00 

Bowling

Zayed Sports City

16:00-18:00

Football

Zayed Sports City

16:00-18:00

Volleyball

ADNEC

19:00-21:00

Wednesday 20 March

Bocce

ADNEC

13:30-15:30

Football

Zayed Sports City

18:00-19:45

 

 

Sharan Sunner