Specially abled students from across Qatar came together Saturday at the American School of Doha for an event full of excitement and learning.
The students marched, staged performances and took part in competitions at the Riyadtee sports events for children with disabilities, organised by HOPE Qatar Centre for Persons with Disabilities together with the Department of Educational Centres in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE).
Parents watched with pride as their children took part in the activities, while teachers and volunteers lent a helping hand to the specially abled participants, keeping their spirits up.
The special sports event was aimed at providing an inclusive platform for 86 students from 11 special needs educational centres across Qatar.
Riyadtee, which means “My Sport”, witnessed the participation of students with autism, as well as wheelchair athletes from 26 nationalities engaging in 27 athletic and modified sports competitions.
HOPE Qatar founder and managing director Dr Rajeev Thomas said the initiative offers tailored sporting opportunities to children with disabilities in Qatar, emphasising its adaptability to the unique abilities of each participant.
"Our goal is not only to foster inclusivity but also to provide a platform for these remarkable children to showcase their sporting abilities,” he said.
Dr Thomas said that the event was conducted according to Special Olympic Guidelines with all awards and prizes based on these guidelines.
Independent judges monitored each event and the conduct of each contest in line with strict published rules and regulations.
MoEHE Educational Services Centres Department director Eman Ali al-Naimi said that caring for people with disabilities is one of the ministry’s priorities to ensure that people with disabilities obtain the rights that Qatar has ratified in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The meet began with a march, followed by a cultural demonstration by students of the host institution HOPE Qatar.
Mohamed Jamisha, a senior student of HOPE Qatar, led the oath-taking on behalf of all participating athletes.
Undersecretary for Shared Services at the MoEHE, Mohamed Ali Kareeb, Indian ambassador Vipul, Bangladesh ambassador Mohamed Nazrul Islam, local sports enthusiast Khalid Fakhroo, former Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) president PN Baburajan, and American School of Doha director of operations David Finney were present.
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