Muscat: The Oman Special Olympics is all set to host an event, similar to paralympics, that will have participation from 13 countries of the Middle East & North Africa region.
The event, which will be held from December 21 to 26 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher, will feature the intellectually challenged individuals who will take part in tennis and bowling in the sport category.
Announcing the plans, His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said, who chairs the Special Olympics Programme said the six-day event will see participation of around 153 athletes.
"This is the second time we are organising an event of this magnitude. Last year we had organised similar event but there was only one sport and that was badminton. This time we thought about organising it in a bigger way," Sayyid Faisal said.
25 athletes from Oman will take part in the event. 12 athletes will take part in the bowling category and 13 players will take part in the tennis.
Salman Al Balushi of Oman Tennis Association (OTA) said the local body would offer all kinds of support to the Oman Special Olympics Committee. "We are offering all our support to this event. We want this to be a great event," Salman said.
Referees from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) will join hands with the Oman Special Olympics Committee. "Thirty of our referees will take part in an intensive workshop for these participants and we will also have international lecturers and presenting papers on each sport. The workshop will be for three-days and we will be issuing certificates to all the participants," said Dr Badriya Al Haddabi, assistant professor at SQU.
According to Saleh Essa Yaqoob Al Agbari, national director of Oman Special Olympics said the event has already received the much-needed support from well-wishers. "Most of the people who work with us are volunteers and we have received a huge support from them. We have 15 organisations supporting us for this event and thankfully we have sufficient amount to cover the event," he said.
Omantel, Muscat Pharmacy, Oasis and Zeenah are the sponsors for the event.