(Berlin, Germany) – From June 15-25, 2023, the world’s largest inclusive sporting event is set to take place in Berlin, Germany. The Special Olympics World Games is gathering thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in 26 different sports. Representing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Special Olympics Golf Team will be Chaica Al Qassimi, Ali Bin Sumaidaa, and Omar Al Bastaki (Ali’s Unified Partner). In addition, UAE National Team Coaches, April Varney, and Samir Wallani will be managing the team.
The Special Olympics World Games will kick off Saturday, June 17, with the Opening Ceremony followed by the golf competition from June 19-22 at the Golf Club Bad Saarow. Golf will host 181 athletes and unified partners, five different levels, and a total of 35 delegations.
Team UAE will be represented in two levels of competition. Chaica Al Qassimi will compete in Level 1, which will include 6 individual skills competitions: short putt, long putt, chip shot, pitch shot, iron shot, and wood shot. Chaica will be competing in her first Special Olympic World Games and has been training hard over the past 12 months with Coach Varney.
Ali Bin Sumaidaa will compete with his Unified Partner Omar Al Bastaki in the Level 2 competition. Both Ali and Omar will be competing in their second Special Olympics World Games. Ali received a Silver Medal in the Level 1 – individual skills competition at the 2019 Abu Dhabi World Games.
The Special Olympics World Games has been hosting golf as an official sport since 1995 while offering a unified element. The Unified Sport allows individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to compete together as a team. Golf has 5 different levels of competition:
Level 1 – Individual Performance Skills Competition
Level 2 – Unified Team Alternate Shot – 9 Holes
Level 3 – Unified Team Alternate Shot – 18 Holes
Level 4 – Individual Competition – 9 Holes
Level 5 – Individual Competition – 18 Holes
Coach Samir Wallani had this to say about the UAE athletes at, Special Olympics World Games “We are very excited to represent the UAE at this year’s Special Olympics World Games. Ali, Chaica, and Omar all have been working hard to get to this stage. For the past 4 years, Ali has been training and you can see that by moving up a level from the last world games his game is improving. The contented support from the Emirates Golf Federation and UAE Special Olympics has allowed these athletes to reach their dreams.”
The Special Olympics World Games started in 1968 and for the first time, Germany is the host. With over 7,000 athletes across 26 different sports for 2023, it is going to be 9 days that the athletes and coaches will never forget. Follow the Emirates Golf Federation on social media to get the latest updates and photos from the event.