Sport has an inherent power to unite people and break down barriers. As the UAE’s team of Olympians and Paralympians proved this summer, with the right amount of determination and drive we can all live the dream.
As its name would suggest, The Unity Run is hoping to bring the nation together for an event open to everyone, irrespective of age, background or ability.
Taking place on Friday November 25 at Al Mamzar Beach, the 3km walk and 7km run will serve two main purposes – to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the UAE and to raise vital funds for the Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
“The Unity Run is fully inclusive, and we are reaching out to people of all abilities to take part, Ruth Dickinson, manager partner of organiser FittGROUP, tells Time Out.
“We want both the able-bodied and those with disabilities to run, walk or wheel, side by side, celebrating the unity and inclusiveness of the UAE, all wearing the colours of the country’s flag.”
This inaugural race comes a week before National Day and Dickinson is quick to praise the government for its drive to make Dubai the most disabled person-friendly city in the world by 2020.
FittGROUP is encouraging individuals, families and teams to take part, but is also on the look out for volunteers to act as “buddies” for those wanting assistance or a companion as they tackle the course. There will be no entry fee for those with disabilities, a fact that aligns itself perfectly with Al Noor Training Centre’s “no barriers” ethos.
“The Unity Run is with people with special needs, not just for them. It’s all about promoting tolerance and acceptance as well as inclusiveness,” Dickinson adds.
“It’s about what people can do – not what they can’t. We want to spread the message that everything is possible.”
The Al Noor Training Centre celebrates its 35th year this month, and in that time has overcome many hurdles to reach the level where it can give special needs students the best possible therapies and a sense of independence. So do your bit and sign up.