The Special Olympics UAE, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and The British Council, completed a one-week sports teacher training programme, to promote social inclusion within schools and communities.

The National Trainer Training, delivered by the Youth Sports Trust International, took place in December in Abu Dhabi and Ajman, simultaneously. Some 32 selected teachers and individuals participated in theoretical and practical sessions throughout the five-day course to become Unified Champion Schools Trainers.

Throughout the course, the teachers were trained in skills and knowledge with regard to working with people of all abilities so that they can deliver inclusive activities and programming in their schools using the train the trainer model.

All participating teachers received a three-year plan, intended to support them in rolling out the programme across other schools in the UAE.

During the training Special Olympics, the UAE announced a strategic partnership with the Learning platform, Potential, that provides innovative learning solutions and emerging education and technology to work on empowering people working under the Unified Champion Schools programme.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, and Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs. Shadi Banna, CEO of Potential, and Layla Al Hajjaj, Director of initiatives and health at Special Olympics UAE, signed the MoU.

Gavin Anderson, Director of the British Council, UAE, said, “We are delighted to complete the National Trainer Training as part of the Unified Champions Schools Programme in partnership with the Special Olympics and the Ministry of Education. It is a pleasure to work with the Ministry, the Special Olympics and Youth Sports Trust International to deliver this programme, which embodies our shared vision of increased and inclusive participation in sports across schools in the UAE.”

“Participating in sport is invaluable to the life of young people and we believe that this should be accessible to all students regardless of ability. By training the next generation of inclusive sports teachers we equip them with the skills and tools to deliver inclusive activities and programming across schools in the country,” he added.

Talal Al Hashemi , Managing Director of Special Olympics UAE, said, “The Unified Champions Schools does not only use sports as an inclusive mechanism between students of intellectual disabilities and those without but also activates different inclusive activities in a school. One of the visions of the Special Olympics UAE is to be the beacon of harmony and hope around the world and, especially, in education.”WAM/ /Esraa Ismail/Nour Salman