Etihad launches Special Olympics employee volunteer programme

Employees can take five days paid leave to volunteer for the global events
Special Olympics Athletes [from left to right]: Hamda Al Hosni (Running); Saleh Al Marri [Bowling]; and Butti Al Shizawi [Basketball].
By Staff writer
Sat 03 Feb 2018 04:33 PM

Etihad Aviation Group has launched an employee volunteer programme for the upcoming Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Etihad employees who sign up for the programme, and become a volunteer at the Games, will continue to receive their full salary for up to five days out of office.

The initiative aims to recruit 500 employee volunteers for the upcoming Special Olympics IX MENA Games in March, and a further 1,000 volunteers for the World Games 2019, both of which will take place in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad’s new Group CEO, Tony Douglas, who become a volunteer for the Special Olympics, said the employees are already lined up to take part in the major sporting event.

“A number of our team members at Etihad Aviation Group have already been seconded to the local organising committee of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 to provide their expertise and support,” said Douglas.

“With this new initiative, we hope to provide a greater number of our employees an opportunity to take part in this important and unique experience, and play a small role in ensuring its success.”

[From left to right]: EAG Group CEO Tony Douglas; Saleh Al Marri; Hamda Al Hosni; Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, CEO, Peter Wheeler; and Butti Al Shizawi

The Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 will take place in Abu Dhabi between 14 and 22 March. More than 1,000 athletes from 33 countries will be competing in 17 different sports.

The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will bring more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations to Abu Dhabi, from 22 different disciplines that feature over the week of competition. Abu Dhabi will become the first city in the Middle East to host the event after beating off competition from Vancouver and Munich.

More than 20,000 overseas visitors are expected to join tens of thousands of spectators from across the UAE to watch what is likely to be the largest global event ever staged in the capital.

Etihad Airways will be flying in athletes, equipment, coaches, dignitaries and the media for the occasion, supported by Hala Abu Dhabi, the destination management company, and Etihad Cargo. Airline staff will be working with the Special Olympics team to share hospitality expertise in order to deliver the best possible guest experience. 

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Last Updated: Sat 03 Feb 2018 05:44 PM GST

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