We make a consistent effort to unite the community through various projects and outreach initiatives. In doing so, we directly engage them with what we do here at QF.
The Ability Friendly Program is an initiative that supports people of all abilities to engage in sporting and developmental activities. The program includes specialized camps, football classes, and swimming classes tailored to the participants’ individual needs.
Specialized coaches will offer these numerous classes, designed to accommodate the various abilities of children and adults.
We offer private 1:1 swimming lessons to anybody with disabilities aged four years or above.
The Ability Friendly Program currently delivers through four stages;
These sessions are delivered over the course of the term, 33 weeks of the year, giving the Qatar Foundation community the option to choose a time that is suited for their needs. One parent recently commented; “The coaches are just wonderful. I’m so glad and amazed at the efforts and patience they show to get children involved.”
In collaboration with schools in Qatar, we have been able to reach more stakeholders and achieve greater impact. The training sessions have made a significant difference in the students’ lives; “One student, Jude, has a phobia of open spaces and large areas to the degree that he would bang his head on the floor and cry in early stages of the sessions. However, during the last session, he played and interacted with his fellow students and scored several goals.”
Summer Camps and year-round Community Engagement Camps have been adapted to help athletes with disabilities access them. These camps involve numerous activities and promote inclusion, striving to help all participants access sports regardless of ability. One mother recently commented; “Thank you all for providing such a professional and amazing summer camp (Ability Friendly Summer Camp). My son attended that summer camp under the supervision of professional and sincere coaches and mentors. He loved it so much and wished it lasted for the whole summer.”
The Ability Friendly Program is regularly involved with local and international events. This is to create more opportunities for our athletes and help other organizations become more inclusive. Our involvement includes supporting other events as well as coordinating our own. One mother recently stated; “Very thrilled and proud that my daughter with autism could show people that children with autism can participate in these big events.”
Current Goals and Future Aspirations
The purpose of this aspect of the Ability Friendly Program is to help practitioners and coaches become disability-confident, equipping them with the skills and the knowledge to deliver sports activities for various abilities. The ambition is to continue to support other organizations with developing an international delivery model that supports practitioners to deliver quality and accommodating classes, thereby helping people with disabilities access sports around the world.
This involves the strategic development of the accessibility movement toward sustainable activities that are suitable for people with disabilities. Our ambition is to work closely with numerous sectors in order to provide more opportunities for our athletes.
One aspect of the program is to engage QF volunteers in our events
and activities. Currently, we are recruiting volunteers from the following categories;
This enhances the program delivery and makes it more sustainable. It also gives children and adults participating in these events the chance to engage with volunteers of different backgrounds.
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