IWAS ready to take centre stage
The IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) World Games gets underway in Sharjah today with an opening ceremony on the Buhaira Corniche starting at 5.45pm.
A 3,000-seat grandstand has been constructed for the event and spectators will also be able to watch proceeding on big screens around the site.
The Games, the first to be staged in the Middle East, have attracted more than 900 participants from 49 countries. It runs until December 10.
Competitions will be held in seven different sports: athletics, power lifting, amputee football and CPISRA race running, all of which will take place at Al Theqa Club, as well as swimming and table tennis, which will take place at the American University of Sharjah.
Shooting competitions will be hosted at the Sharjah Ladies Club.
Tareq Sultan bin Khadem, the Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee and Chairman of the Executive Committee, said: "All preparations for the opening ceremony have been completed.
"The Executive Committee has reviewed all the issues related to the [opening] ceremony, which will be a combined celebration of the 40th UAE National Day and the hosting of this global sporting event".
Bin Khadem said the IWAS World Games are of particular interest in international sporting circles, as they represent an extraordinary event not only because of their global representativeness, but also because support of the disabled in all areas is one of the top priorities of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah.
"The organisers of the 2011 IWAS World Games were particularly keen to organise an event that would live up to His Highness's aspirations and the emirate's achievements overall," he said.
Medical teams are also on hand throughout the Games to look after members of the various delegations. The medical staff have already referred a Malaysian athlete to one of the hospitals at the request of the Malaysian medical team.
The athlete was suffering from kidney failure, but after tests and dialysis, he is now stable.
Another athlete from the Malaysian delegation was treated for ear infection. Both athletes rejoined their teammates at the hotel after being discharged from hospital, and are ready for competition.
Published: December 1, 2011 04:00 AM