Saudi Arabia is aiming to encourage people with disabilities into sport through a new country-wide initiative to foster inclusion and diversity.
The Saudi Ministry of Sports has officially launched the Fakhr (Pride) Program Initiative – a new campaign to develop, manage and implement adaptive sports opportunities for people with special needs.
Organized by the Saudi Arabia Paralympic Committee under the Quality of Life program, it supports the Kingdom’s Vison 2030 – a plan to reshape the country by lowering unemployment, increasing women’s participation, and diversifying opportunities.
“The Fakher program…seeks to motivate those heroes whose circumstances did not prevent them from contributing and participating in the service of their country in many fields,” Prince Abdul Aziz remarked.“This unlimited support from our generous leadership will provide them with the appropriate sports environment, through the implementation of a number of rehabilitation and sports training programs at the highest levels, and the establishment of internal and external camps, to give them opportunities to compete and represent the country in local, regional, and international forums.”
The program, according to Ahmed Al-Muqarin, president of the Fakher supreme committee, would inspire people with disabilities to engage in athletic activities that will improve their physical and mental health while also offering social connections.
It is based on rehabilitating and assisting people with special needs, developing their sporting abilities, improving their quality of life, enhancing their community participation in sports activities and making them sports champions at a local and international level.
The program will last a year and will include health and physical rehabilitation as well as training in one of four athletic fields that best suits their abilities.
Shooting, weightlifting, basketball and athletics are among the sports offered, as well as prosthetic limbs and sports chairs.
The Fakher Program initiative also includes three local and international camps for around 350 Saudis, with the participation of trainers and physiotherapists. National champions of these competitions will then get the opportunity to join local sports clubs on a permanent basis.
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