The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Khalifa Yousif Al Zaabi, yesterday hosted the Board of Special Olympics Ghana (SOG) and the intellectually disabled athletes who will participate in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 22, 2019.
Beside assuring the team that he would personally engage his daughter in Abu Dhabi and the Ghana Ambassador to the UAE to provide the needs of Team Ghana to enable them to excel in the tournament, Khalifa Al Zaabi also made a personal donation of $6000 to the team.
“I am very happy that intellectually disabled athletes from Ghana are participating in such a prestigious tournament. You called on me very late so I can offer you only $6,000 as my personal contribution to motivate our athletes to win gold in Abu Dhabi”, he noted at the reception.
He commended the SOG for using sports to integrate intellectually disabled athletes into society and urged them to sustain the relationship for their mutual benefit.
The chairman of the Board of SOG, ACP Augustine Kokukokor (retd), who received the donation on behalf of the team, expressed his profound gratitude to Khalifa Al Zaabi, saying it came at the right time.
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He said the SOG had always relied on the benevolence of society to prepare the intellectually disabled athletes to fully participate in the Special Olympics World Games.
“Ghana will participate in the 100m, 200m and 400m events, as well as the seven-a-side football tournament, and considering our preparations so far we are certain to return home with gold medals,” he stated.
He said the team would leave for Abu Dhabi on Thursday to familiarise with the environment and also socialise with their host country before the games kick off on March 14, 2019.
A total of 7,000 intellectually disabled athletes from over 170 countries will converge on the oil-rich city to compete for honours during the tournament.