Abu Dhabi, August 21, 2021 – Special Olympics UAE announced the launch of a program called Body Wise in partnership with HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers, part of United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) and a Mubadala Health Partner. The programme, which will take place over two consecutive years in Abu Dhabi, will provide guidance to a group of Athletes, who are People of Determination, and their families on physical wellbeing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It will adopt a holistic and customizable approach by empowering the Athletes to achieve their target health and weight goals.

Body Wise empowers People of Determination to lead healthier lives, in line with Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, by providing weight management support where they will receive nutrition guidance and ongoing advice and care tailored to their health needs. In its initial stages, the programme will focus on the Special Olympics UAE Athletes participating in the World Winter Games in Kazan 2022 to prepare them for the games. Studies on health challenges faced by UAE Special Olympics athletes in 2020 have shown that 42.5% struggle with obesity, while 37.5% are considered overweight and 9% as underweight.

His Excellency Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE said, “We are delighted to collaborate with HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers in Abu Dhabi on the launch of this program, as the health of People of Determination is a priority, and we measure our success by the strength of their wellbeing and by providing all that is necessary to ensure it.”

He added, “Each participant in the program will receive a precise individualized medical plan by HealthPlus physicians and dietitians based on a series of medical assessments and full understanding of their medical history. Follow up visits with HealthPlus will also be organized throughout the 2 years. Holistic care and consistent guidance will ensure that they are able to follow through with the habits and dietary changes they have learned in order to maintain optimal health after completing the program. We have confidence in the determination and perseverance of the Athletes to achieve their goals with the support of their families, expert caregivers and all our collective efforts.”

Mr. Majd Abu Zant, CEO of UEMedical said, “UEMedical is proud to have partnered with Special Olympics UAE to provide integrated, comprehensive and high-quality care for the Athletes at HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers across Abu Dhabi. Such partnerships come in line with the nation’s strategy to empower people of determination, and we are delighted to play a role in serving this important segment in the community. Abu Dhabi has made great strides in empowering and integrating people of determination into society, and unleashing their capabilities to be active and an effective pillar in the community.”

He pointed out that the “Body Wise” program, which will last for two years, will focus on two main pillars including raising awareness and education to help champions and their families adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle that improves their ability to train and compete; and providing medical care through periodic examinations and treatments for each Athlete. “As an inclusive organization, all our clinics and hospitals are fully prepared to care for people of determination and our team has the needed experience to accommodate people of determination as patients, visitors and colleagues. This comes as part of our social responsibility towards society and also as a healthcare provider offering quality specialty care to people of determination,” Mr. Abu Zant concluded.

The programme will focus on over 60 people of determination in Abu Dhabi over two years. Body Wise seeks to teach the importance of diet and physical health and provide the needed care which will help foster a positive environment for Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and families, to support their success in achieving all their goals.