Sports activities

Our program employs sport as a means by which to fully engage people with Down’s Syndrome and to unlock their hidden potential. This in turn, helps to engender a strong sense of sportsmanship and team camaraderie. Indeed, many of the young men and women we help have achieved international recognition and acclaim as champions in their chosen sport.

We facilitate specialist training, in addition to our own resources, at certified centers outside the Association under the supervision of professional coaches. The most popular sports we offer include boccia, bowling, swimming and badminton.

To provide an appropriate competitive environment geared to people with Down’s Syndrome, we organize a variety of sports activities at the Association including forming, developing and coaching sports teams of all ages, organizing sports events, competitions and festivals.


  • To encourage and facilitate appropriate sports activities for people with Down’s Syndrome to enhance their health, fitness and cognitive ability
  • Engender sportsmanship, competitiveness, fair play and camaraderie
  • Discover their talents, develop them and find relevant and effective sports related organizations in the community to engage and interact with them
  • Employ sports activities to encourage social bonding and integrate people with Down’s Syndrome into the community
  • Work to improve their sports understanding, standards and develop their physical and movement efficiency skills
  • Invest leisure time to practice the sports activities chosen by the participants


Boccia is a precision ball sport that requires combined motor and cognitive skills. The game
is similar to both bowls and boules and can be played by individuals or teams. The aim of the game is to throw balls as close as possible to a white target ball, or jack. The balls can be moved with hands, feet, or, if the competitor's disability is severe, with an assistive device such as a ramp.

UAEDSA organizes an annual boccia competition on a national level where all the disability centers in the UAE are invited to participate.


Swimming is one of the healthiest and most beneficial sports for people with Down’s Syndrome as it reduces the load the different joints in the body have to bear during exercise. With moderate effort, it also exercises the heart and circulation leading to increased and beneficial heart and lung performance. Swimming also helps to reduce back pain and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


Bowling is one of the fastest growing and widespread games in Special Olympics Sports. Despite introduction of amendments to the laws of this sport to accommodate players with intellectual and physical disabilities, most players with Down’s Syndrome compete under the same laws and conditions that apply to able-bodied participants. The players are divided into groups according to ability level, age and gender.


Basketball is popular and the preferred sport of participants with Down’s Syndrome. It allows them to train and compete using the basic skills of the sport. Basketball is an ideal vehicle for developing a collective spirit, cooperation and cohesion between individuals as a team. It also encourages the development of the physical and motor abilities required by the players, most notably accuracy, communication, coordination, balance and overall fitness.



Badminton helps Down’s Syndrome players to substantially improve their hand eye coordination as well as increase their fitness, endurance and reactive responsiveness. It is also ideal for stimulating their intellectual abilities, challenging their awareness of movement and ability to choose appropriate positions on the court.