Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad at ‘Walk Unified’ event that aims to engage the community, bringing together people of determination to walk side-by-side with others. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Walk Unified, a kilometre long walkathon held at Khawaneej Walking Track on Tuesday evening, has set the pace for the upcoming Special Olympics to be held in Abu Dhabi in March.

Part of a series of events being held across the country to raise awareness about the people of determination, the walkathons are also designed to engage the community for the mega event, being held in the region for the first time.

Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, joined several members of the UAE’s special Olympics team for the walk along with members of the community, including families, children and elderly.

Leading the walk was wheelchair bound member of the UAE special Olympics organising committee Majid Al Osaimi.

“We are very excited about the upcoming mega event and the purpose of these walks is to engage the community with the people of determination as well as to encourage them to participate for the Special Olympics,” said Al Osaimi.

He added that idea behind these games is to bring everyone together and have an inclusive community.

“Our message to the community is to be part of these games and encourage the athletes and help them believe that they belong,” he added.

More than 500 people took part in the walk, including people of determination, who were visible excited for all the attention they were receiving.

“This is really exciting. I can’t wait to be part of the Special Olympics. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team and we are determined to perform well,” said Khalid Ahmad, member of the UAE special Olympics team.

The UAE is all set to send out its biggest team for the Special Olympics, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 14 to 21.