British Council
Right to left, Gavin Anderson, British Council Country Director, H.E Shamma Bint Suhail AL Mazrui Minister of State for Youth, Jameela Bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, Layla Al Hajjaj Director of Initiatives and Health Special Olympics, Representative from Potential Image Credit: Supplied


  • 32 selected teachers have been trained to become ‘Unified Champion Schools Trainers’
  • These Unified Champion Schools Trainers will use their skills to deliver inclusive sports programmes for students regardless of determination and ability
  • The aim of the Unified Champion Schools trainers is to promote and create inclusive school environments in the UAE

The British Council, in partnership with Special Olympics UAE and the Ministry of Education, has completed a one-week sports teacher training programme as part of the Unified Champions Schools Programme with the aim to create and promote social inclusion within schools and communities in the UAE.

The National Trainer Training, delivered by the Youth Sports Trust International, took place from 5 – 12 December simultaneously in Abu Dhabi and Ajman. 32 selected teachers participated in theoretical and practical sessions throughout the five-day course to become Unified Champion Schools Trainers.

Throughout the course the teachers were trained in skills and knowledge of working with people of all abilities so that they can deliver inclusive activities and programming in their schools using the train the trainer model. All participating teachers have received a three-year plan which will support them in rolling out the programme across other schools in the UAE.

The National Trainer Training is part of the Unified Schools Programme, a programme that looks to increase sports and leadership opportunities for all students in the UAE regardless of determination or ability and therefore create inclusive school communities.

Gavin Anderson, Director, British Council, United Arab Emirates said: “We are delighted to successfully complete the National Trainer Training as part of the Unified Champions Schools Programme in partnership with Special Olympics and the Ministry of Education. It is a pleasure to work together with the Ministry, the Special Olympics and Youth Sports Trust International to deliver this programme which embodies our shared vision of increased and inclusive participation in sport across all of the schools in the UAE.

Participating in sport is invaluable to the life of young people and we believe that this should be accessible to all students regardless of ability. By training the next generation of inclusive sports teacher we equip them with the skills and tools to deliver inclusive activities and programming across schools in the country.”

H.E Shamma Al Mizuri Minister of Youth and Chair of Special Olympics UAE said: "I would like thank the British council for the support and partnership with this program. I think the Unified Champions Schools is one of the important programs in Special Olympics. It does not only use sports as an inclusive mechanism between students of intellectual disabilities and those without, but it also activates different inclusive activities in a school. So, plays on so many different values that we need to nurture and cultivate in young people.

"One of the visions of Special Olympics UAE is to be the beacon of harmony and hope inclusivity around the world and especially in the section of education. Therefore, one of the things we want to work on is how can we make the best model of Unified Champions schools start in the UAE and then export it around the world.”

Testimonials from participants:

Ms. Amal Alali Senior Specialist in People of Determination division from ADEC:

“As a Senior Specialist in People of Determination division from ADEC, the National Trainer Training has given me a deeper insight of what I should be looking for in classrooms when I tour the schools. I am in the phase of overseeing the current practices in private schools in Abu Dhabi; to look into the amount of effort, time, resources and staff the schools are putting in. The next stage is looking into how we, as ADEC, can facilitate, help and support schools to make them inclusive. So, this training has come at the right time because this sets the bar for what I need to expect to see in schools and in classrooms.”