Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) and the Dubai Club for the Disabled,the 6th Fazza International Athletics IPC Grand Prix Competition will take place between 20 -26 February at the Al Thiqa Club in Sharjah.
The event will see more than 500 participants representing 37 countries from across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and the rest of the world competing in a highly competitive and much anticipated event. Details of the competition were announced at a press conference held on 18 February at the Dubai Club for the Disabled.
The competition is being organised under the auspices of the globally recognised International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Local organisers also explained that the Dubai event is now internationally recognised and is part of the a global series of Grand Prix events that take place in 9 different countries including China, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy,USA Tunisia, Germany leading up to the finals in the United Kingdom.
Contestants will be able to participate in the following categories; visually disabled, cerebral palsy, motor paralysis and neural paralysis. The wide range of events will see the competitors from 37 nations racing in athletics events from the 100 metres sprint through to the 5000 metre distance run. Other events include competitive challenges like Discus, Javelin, Mace, Shot Putt, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump and Relay.
Prizes will be awarded to winners in the first three places with a special prize for any individual athlete who breaks a world record.
Attending the press conference were Thani Juma Berregad, chairman of the supreme organising committee of the Fazza Championships and CEO of Dubai Club for the Disabled,Majid Abdullah Al Usaimi,Championship Director, Suad Darwish, Director of Championships at Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), Sumaya Saeed Khalfan, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at HHC, Khalid Rashid, Public Relations Manager at HHC, Ahmed Mohammed Hasan, the Head of the Technical Committee, Mohammed Hilal Al Mroshdi, Head of Financial Committee,Hamad baljaflahhead ofPublic Relation Committee, Ebtesam Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Head of the Media Committee, Iqhlas Abdel Aziz the Manager of the Investment and Marketing Unit.
Attending the press conference, Thani Juma Berregad, chairman of the supreme organising committee of the Fazza Championships, CEO of Dubai Club for the Disabled,said that the Championship represented another important step for Dubai as it becomes recognised as a global centre to host the world’s biggest international sporting occasions.
He explained:”This championship which is organised by HHC as part of the diversified Fazza Championships began six years ago under the patronage of His Highness at a local level. The aim of the event was to enable Emiratis from all demographics particularly those who have special needs but are just as talented as able bodied athletes. That has now developed and grown into an event that brings athletes from all over the world to Dubai.”
Majid Abdullah Al Usaimi, General Secretary of the Dubai Club for the Disabled added: “This year we have enhanced the impact and value of the Championships through the creation of a special training initiative for judges and trainers from 17 -26 February at the Al Bustan Centre in Dubai as part of the ongoing work by the Dubai Club for the Disabled.”
Khalid Rashid from HHC talked about the importance of the Championships. He said: “Now in its 6th edition, this Championship reinforces its importance as an international sporting event at every level from the organisation to physical hosting of the event.This helps to reinforce Dubai’s status and the UAE as a country with solid infrastructure and facilities.
“We are enormously proud at HHC to organise such an event that has attracted 500 athletes from 37 countries. We hope that the Championship will secure excellent media coverage and we believe that it reflects the attributes and philosophy of the host country through world class organisation and management.”
At the press conference, organising committee members said that athletes and officials from the different countries would arrive on 20 February ready for the eagerly anticipated official opening ceremony that would take place on 21 February at the Creek Park in Dubai.
The competitions will be held over a four day period from 22– 25 February with the teams departing Dubai on 26 February.
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Tunisia; Slovakia; Nigeria; Greece; Saudi Arabia; Mexico; Japan; Scotland; Great Britain; Algeria; Iraq; Azerbaijan; Germany; Bulgaria; Kazakhstan; Egypt; Kuwait; Qatar; Russia; Bahrain; Sweden; Thailand; Ireland; Brazil; Cameroon; Denmark; Jordan; Lithuania; Netherlands; Switzerland; Hong Kong; Gambia; India; Oman; Syria; Mauritius and host nation, the United Arab Emirates