KHDA and GEMS Education Adopt International Special Olympics Teams


  • GEMS Education network of schools adopted 11 Special Olympics teams in GEMS Schools
  • 38 academic institutions in Dubai hosted range of activities in parallel with Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi

KHDA and GEMS Education adopted and welcomed Special Olympics teams at a variety of schools within the GEMS Education network in the UAE. GEMS Metropole School, Dubai adopted the US team consisting of over 300 athletes, one of the largest teams in the Special Olympics being held in Abu Dhabi from March 14th 21st, 2019.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) along with Brendan Law, Senior Vice President of Education at GEMS Education, John Hughes, Principal/CEO of GEMS Metropole School and teaching staff, welcomed the athletes and engaged in fun activities with them. Some of the activities included production of footloose, drumming class with Arabic drums, the signing of Year of Tolerance bench by athletes, falconry and the creation of banners to cheer the playing sports teams on.

The event that was held at GEMS Metropole School was part of Adopt-A-Nation Program, which comes as part of the strategic projects support the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. 38 Dubai schools participated by adopting 49 nations by dedicating a day of interactive sporting, educational, arts and crafts and cultural activities for students of determination.

The Hong Kong Special Olympic Team was adopted by GEMS Al Barsha National School, where 106 athletes took part in school activities along with the students. Individual GEMS Education schools hosted a roster of international delegations, who brought sports teams of determination to the UAE to participate in activities throughout the day, in the run up to the Special Olympics which will be held in Abu Dhabi.

Brendan Law, Senior Vice President of Education at GEMS Education said: “This is an important initiative for GEMS Education to lead activity on, as we work to become fully inclusive across all of our schools across the globe. Working with KHDA on this government scheme has helped us to set a standard for the region in maintaining inclusive policies.

“We are proud to partner with this prestigious event which is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and a global movement focusing on the empowerment of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport.”

The Special Olympics World Games 2019 will be hosted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in March 2019 for the first time in the Middle East North Africa. The event is under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whose leadership and vision have been instrumental in bringing together public and private sector partners to be a part of this worthy cause.

Email This Post