The dedication, perseverance and achievements of participants and coaches of Qatar Foundation (QF)'s Ability Friendly Programme – which provides inclusive sporting opportunities to Qatar’s community – were recognised at a ceremony where they were awarded with certificates and medals for their accomplishments.
Mark Hughes, director of Awsaj Academy, part of QF's Pre-University Education, said: "The Ability Friendly Recognition Awards ceremony serves a vital purpose in our organisation. It provides a platform to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the past year.
“Moreover, it brings together participants, dedicated families and hardworking coaches and programme staff for a meaningful gathering. This event offers us a privileged opportunity to interact, socialise and strengthen the bonds within our remarkable community."
Hughes said the programme empowers individuals with diverse abilities, fostering inclusivity, skill development and meaningful interactions, removing barriers and providing equal opportunities for all to engage in sports programmes and events.
“The event has a significant impact on the morale and motivation of participants and coaches, providing an opportunity to socialise, create memories and strengthen the community,” he noted. “The Ability Friendly Programme fosters a sense of belonging and transforms lives, motivating all involved."
Aisha Jassim al-Ali, the mother of one of the participants awarded during the ceremony, said: "Seeing my son, with his special needs, being honoured on this annual occasion fills my heart with immense pride. The programme has been a tremendous blessing, offering him opportunities for growth and development.
“Through his commitment to training, he has not only acquired valuable skills but also blossomed in his ability to communicate and connect with his fellow colleagues. I am grateful for how this program has positively impacted his life, fostering a sense of belonging and empowering him to reach his full potential. It is a true testament to the transformative power of inclusion and support."
Nabila Fadaoui, the mother of another child participating in the programme, said seeing her son being honoured gave her a profound sense of happiness and pride: “His journey has been one of overcoming countless psychological, physical, and social difficulties, and it is with immense gratitude that I acknowledge the invaluable role played by his dedicated trainers. Their unwavering support, patience and belief in his abilities have been instrumental in his growth and progress.
“This moment of recognition is a testament to his resilience, determination and the countless hours of hard work he has invested. It is a celebration of his triumphs over adversity, highlighting his unique journey of personal development and self-discovery.”
She also believes that he perceives himself differently, saying: “He no longer sees his disability as a hindrance but rather as an opportunity for growth and contribution.
“Through the nurturing environment provided by the programme and the guidance of his trainers, he has come to understand that he is an integral part of our community. He has discovered his own worth, feeling a strong sense of belonging and purpose.”
Qatar Foundation’s Ability Friendly Programme offers sessions the year round. To find out more information about the programme, or to participate and volunteer, one can email [email protected]
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