UAE unified football team seal first victory & Healthy Athletes program conducts

The Olympics Sports team Abdul Rahim and Muhammad Saeed, Abu Dhabi, March 15, 2019: The UAE Special Olympics Unified Football Team claimed victory over South Africa on Friday.

Playing its second match of the World Games at Zayed Sports City, the 11-a-side UAE team recorded a 4-0 win over its opponents.

A dominant display by the Emirati team in front of a crowd of energetic home fans saw goals scored by Ayman Al Maqbali, Abdelaziz Al Hamour with Khalid Al Maamari scoring a brace.

The victory, the UAE’s first of the World Games, means the team will be full of confidence before taking on Jamaica in its final Group A match on Saturday.

The UAE team, which features athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, narrowly lost out (2-1) to Spain in its opening match.

Football made its debut at the World Games in 1986 and has become one of the largest sports on the program, featuring traditional and unified teams across the 11-a-side, 7-a-side and futsal competitions.

With more than 7,500 athletes from over 190 nations set to compete between 14-21 March, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year.

Healthy Athletes program conducts thousands of vital medical screenings at World Games Abu Dhabi

Thousands of athletes from all over the world, along with people with intellectual disabilities from the local community, have received life-changing medical checks, health screenings and advice as part of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Held in conjunction with the World Games, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program has so far seen 2,600 athletes and unified partners from 147 countries given a free check-up from local doctors and medical staff over three days.

Launched at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) on March 13th, Healthy Athletes is an essential part of the Special Olympics program and will run until the end of the Games on March 21st.

Made possible globally by the Golisano Foundation and locally by NMC Health Plc, the UAE’s largest private healthcare company, Healthy Athletes will provide medical screenings and education to all 7,500 athletes competing in the World Games. —- SOWG2019

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