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Special Olympics UAE and UAE Winter Sports Federation kick off Kazan 2022 preparation programme

In collaboration with the UAE Winter Sports Federation and the Leaders Qualification Center, Special Olympics UAE is organising a virtual floorball coaching fundamentals session in preparation for the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022.

The session will be held via Zoom on Monday, January 18, 2021 from 07:00 to 09: 00 pm UAE time. Yahya Al Junaibi, coach of the UAE National Floorball Team and Chairman of the Ice Hockey Federation Referees Committee at the UAE Winter Sports Federation, is the lead trainer and will cover the concepts and specifics of floorball training in Special Olympics during the session.

This session is the first to be organised under a memorandum of understanding signed between the UAE Winter Sports Federation and Special Olympics UAE at the end of 2020, which aims to develop Special Olympics winter sports, and provide training and development opportunities for coaches and players in preparation for participation at the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022.

Other topics covered at the session include the history of floorball, the rules and regulations of organizing Floorball competitions, the fundamentals of floorball training, in addition to highlighting the strong participation of the UAE at the Special Olympics MENA Floorball Cup, held in Cairo in 2019, which qualifies for participation in the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022. The Special Olympics UAE women’s team came first and won the gold medal, which qualified them for the games, while the UAE men’s team won the third place and took the bronze medal.

Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE said: “We are delighted to activate our partnership with the UAE Winter Sports Federation and the Leaders Development Center and organize this session for floorball coaches. Floorball is an important sport with growing popularity within Special Olympics UAE, especially in light of the remarkable achievements of the UAE national teams in the Special Olympics MENA cup, we are looking forward to a strong participation at the next Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022, and training is one of the strategic pillars of our preparation plans for it.”

Floorball can be practiced at different types of venues and is particularly suited to Special Olympics athletes. It is an established sport that has been practiced for more than five decades and has an international federation with 74 member countries. Floorball is also practiced through Unified Sports and brings together People of Determination with intellectual disabilities and Unified Partners.

In 2019, there were more than 28,000 Special Olympics floorball athletes and 23,000 unified partners who participate in Unified Floorball in 56 countries around the world. Interestingly, floorball and ice hockey are connected, as ice hockey players tend to practice floorball after the winter season ends, which contributes to the popularity of the sport.

The upcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will serve as a new catalyst for sporting achievements for the Special Olympics UAE athletes and will demonstrate the power of sport in building prosperous and inclusive societies. The games will be held from 22-28 January 2022 and will bring together 2,000 athletes and unified partners from 108 countries and 3,000 volunteers from all over the world to Kazan, Russia to affirm the values of acceptance and inclusion through the participation in sport.

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