Medals revealed for IWAS World Games 2019 in Sharjah
More than 500 athletes from 50 countries are preparing to take on the world in the United Arab Emirates from 12-16 February.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games 2019 have revealed the medals that more than 500 athletes from 50 countries will go for in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), between 12-16 February.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member Ruler of Sharjah, the IWAS World Games has returned to the emirate for a second time after a successful edition in 2011.
The event brings together seven sports – archery, athletics, badminton, swimming, shooting, table tennis and wheelchair fencing, which are scheduled to be held across three state-of-the-art facilities in Sharjah. The IWAS World Games are an important stop on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, and will offer qualification in some sports. The wheelchair fencing will be the curtain raiser for the 2019 World Cup calendar and will also feature the under 17 and under 23 World Championships. It will begin one day before the Opening Ceremony on 12 February.
The medals design were revealed during a press conference on Monday (4 February) which gathered together a host of supporters and sponsors.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, who is also the Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee of the World Games; His Excellency Dr. Tariq Sultan bin Khadem, Vice-Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee IWAS Executive Committee member; and HE Ali Salem Al Midfa, Vice Chairperson of the Executive Committee were in attendance.
Highlighting the importance of the IWAS World Games to Sharjah and the UAE, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed, said: “Hosting this championship is one of the key steps for Sharjah in sharing its inspiring message to the world, which is to provide competitive opportunities to sportsmen and women with a physical disability. The IWAS World Games Sharjah 2019 deeply resonates with the emirate’s values demonstrated through our community initiatives directed towards achieving inclusivity and humanitarianism locally and internationally.”
He continued: “Media outlets in the UAE and the world play a crucial role in supporting such achievements, and to support these professional athletes and their inspiring journeys through messages that promote awareness and commemorate their dedication and determination.”
Sultan bin Khadem added: “Sharjah enjoys an international reputation for its cultural and artistic achievements, both at regional and global levels. The emirate has been at the forefront in offering a professional sporting environment for youth from different age groups and abilities to inspire their enthusiasm and competitive spirit.
“Attention to sports reflects the attention one pays to culture and economy. Bringing the IWAS World Games to Sharjah once again, reinforces the emirate’s ambition to position itself as a world-class destination for handicapped sports, thanks to the integrated efforts and ambitions of our government and our public sector.”
Also present at the press conference were His Excellency Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairperson of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA); His Excellency Eissa Hilal Al Hizami, Secretary General of the Sharjah Sports Council; and IWAS Executive Committee members.
The conference brought together sponsors and strategic partners including Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF), UAE Disabled Sports Federation, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) and Tilal Properties.
A total of 1,462 athletes, coaches, referees and technical staff will gather in Sharjah.
Competitions will be held at three main venues: Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped will host fencing competitions from 11-16 February, and archery and athletics from 13-16 February.
Badminton, table tennis and swimming competitions will be held between 13-15 February, at the American University of Sharjah, whilst shooting will take place at Al Dhaid Shooting Club from 11-13 February.
During the conference, sponsor and partner representatives said that staging such an event matches the UAE’s goals in hosting some of the biggest and largest international sports events across various fields and categories, and coincides with Sharjah’s continuous dedication and drive towards supporting humanitarian values especially in the field of sports.