In partnership with bp Oman, Oman Sail and Oman Paralympic Committee have officially announced the national para sailing team to represent Oman in para sailing competitions locally and internationally in a formal celebration marking the International Day of Persons with Disability, held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Al Shamsi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Social Development. The celebration was also attended by Dr. Khamis Salim Al Jabri, CEO of Oman Sail, Eng. Mohammed Al Najwani, Vice President of Wells at bp Oman, Dr. Mansoor Sultan Al Tauqi, President of the Oman Paralympic Committee and various attendees from sport related associations. The celebration highlighted the national team’s journey towards success, and their future directions.
The national team will represent Oman in international competitions such as the Parasailing World Championship 2022 and Paralympic games. This outcome was as a result of the Sail Free programme which was first launched in December 2019 introducing persons with disabilities (specially with physical impairment) to the sport of sailing. Since the start of the programme approximately 150 men and women with disabilities aged 16 to 30 years old benefited from the programme.
The team members were selected based on their performance in various stages of the programme at both Oman Sail’s Sailing Schools in Al Mouj Muscat and Mussanah. The members were trained under the highest standards of security and safety with supervision by a group of highly qualified Omani trainers, using the multi-functional RS Venture Connect dinghy which can be quickly configured to suit the needs of each person with their own unique disability.
Shamsa Al-Rawahi, bp Oman social investment manager, commented “We believe that Paralympic sport promotes inclusivity, diversity and empowerment. This is in line with our aims at bp to provide equal opportunities to Omanis that help develop their skills and capabilities. We look forward to the outcomes of team as they sail across local, regional and international waters.”
Dr. Khamis Al Jabri, CEO of Oman Sail, said, “The success we have seen so far with the Sail Free programme shows the potential for Oman to support people with different strengths and abilities. This programme provided the training, experience and an environment for them to success. I am excited to see the launch of the national para sailing team pave the way for athletes across the country to strive towards their goals.”
Dr. Mansoor Al Tauqi, President of the Oman Paralympic Committee, said, “The Sail Free programme has shown its potential to instil self-confidence and many other valuable lifelong skills in persons with disability. We are excited to see the team inspire others as they sail and compete internationally.”