PRETORIA NEWS / 1 FEBRUARY 2019, 06:35AM / STAFF REPORTER
The United Arab Emirates is hosting the Special Olympic World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in March.
To launch the official countdown, Ambassador of the UAE to South Africa Mahash Saeed Alhameli hosted an event in Pretoria this week, attended by dignitaries and representatives of the Special Olympics team.
He and other speakers referred to the unifying power of sport, and the way it builds relations prior to and after a major event.
Chairperson of the Special Olympics South Africa, Dr Matthews Phosa, highlighted the special relationship between the UAE and South Africa, and thanked the UAE for its warm welcome to our athletes.
The Special Olympics are held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi – part of a series of initiatives to expand opportunities to promote the UAE’s vision of a unified and inclusive society.
Over 8000 athletes from more than 176 nations will attend the Games, a multi-sport event in 24 codes for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement.
This includes 11 new sub-Saharan African nations – Burundi, Cape Verde, Congo (Brazzaville), Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Chad and South Sudan. Staff Reporter