More than 500 athletes from 50 countries have gathered in Sharjah for the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games, which was officially inaugurated on Tuesday. Shaikh Abdullah Bin Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the IWAS games at a ceremony at Sharjah Municipality headquarters, attended by a number of shaikhs and top officials, sports figures, media and guests. WAM Image Credit:

Sharjah: More than 500 athletes from 50 countries have gathered in Sharjah for the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games, which was officially inaugurated on Tuesday.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the IWAS games at a ceremony at Sharjah Municipality headquarters, attended by a number of shaikhs and top officials, sports figures, media and guests. This is the second time Sharjah is hosting the games since 2011.

Attendees at Tuesday’s event saw a spectacular light show on the facade of Sharjah Municipality that portrayed the journey of the UAE and the achievements of Sharjah in the fields of history, culture education, social and sports.

Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019, said during his welcome address: “With the support and guidance of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who is the strongest advocate of the differently abled, Sharjah has achieved a lot in supporting people with disabilities, granting them their full rights of social integration, empowerment and capacity building.”

Rudi Van Den Abbeele, President of the IWAS Federation, said: “We have been provided with three top-quality venues, some of which have already begun to stage competitions. I would like to recognise everyone at the Al Thiqah Club for the Disabled, the American University Sharjah and the Al Dhaid Sports Club for their warmth and energy in preparing the venues. All of this would not be possible without the support of our local partners here in Sharjah.”

During the ceremony, an operetta titled ‘Al Thiqa’ was presented, which included two plays titled ‘Home of Happiness’ and ‘This is Sharjah,’ developed and supervised by Ahmad Salem Al Madhloum, executive director of IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019.