Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – In the heart of Riyadh, the passion of the World Combat Games 2023 continues to resonate, not only within the beautiful venue of King Saud University but also across the international schools around Riyadh. Dedicated to nurturing sport values, respect, and inclusivity among the youth, the Games have successfully brought their magic and passion to the future generations.
United Through Sports (UTS), alongside the Saudi Arabian Local Organising Committee, partnered with the Saudi Arabia National Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Ministry Of Sport and Saudi Olympic Academy, to bring positive impact by merging education and sports for the local youth as part of the World Combat Games 2023. Every morning of the week, UTS and their partners have been visiting local schools in Riyadh introducing children to martial arts while encouraging them to keep active and healthy. This already very successful initiative goes in line with the Vision 2030 of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
The Children with Disability Association is a beautiful center dedicated to nurturing children with diverse physical and intellectual disabilities in Riyadh. It was the third successful visit of the UTS led initiative. The collaborative efforts of UTS and all partners found so much hope and dedication within the walls of this remarkable institution.
Over a hundred children of all abilities aged 4 to 14 years old attended, along with their supportive parents. Regardless of their individual abilities, the children were presented with a unique opportunity to engage with Judo, Muaythai and the Boxing National Federation, marking a unique day filled with joy, laughter, and a celebration of sports for all abilities.
Marwa Dhawadi, an Olympic Judo coach from Saudi Arabia who is the kingdom’s first female judo star came with the National Judo Federation and engaged the youth and the foundations of Judo through her great dedication and adaptability.
The UTS team led by President Stephan Fox and CEO Julia Govinden equally contributed to bring smiles, excitement, joy and empowerment to the children, instilling them with greater confidence.
Excitement escalated as the MuayThai Demonstration Team performed, having traveled from Thailand to share the ancient traditions and history of the martial art, leaving the young audience with fun and unique memories.
For the first time in the history of the World Combat Games, inclusivity is at the forefront, with many sports having disciplines for physical and intellectual disabilities. Muaythai is one example that is poised to redefine standards by not only having Para and Special disciplines, but also by including them in the event’s full medal program and broadcasted live globally.
UTS is honored to have been able to visit the Children with Disability Association and to contribute to the success of the World Combat Games 2023 in bringing inclusivity ever further.
UTS President Stephan Fox said:
“These games promote inclusion, non-discrimination and equality which are much needed in the challenging times we find ourselves in today. Martial arts bring together a 1000 years of respect, and respect is the key to everything. Inclusion is a must, and the games advocate for more inclusion across every level of the sporting pyramid. We can all do more towards inclusive communities, and sport is a catalyst for lasting global change.”
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