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UAE Paralympians honoured for medals haul.

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Paralympic Athletics Federation were among the big winners at the nation's Sports Achievers Awards for 2012 after they took 38 medals in various international events last year.

The athletes were honoured at Monday night's ceremony here, which saw a total of 485 sportspersons from 47 federations and sports bodies rewarded for their efforts.

Apart from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the endurance racing team, who were named among the UAE's top achievers in sports for 2012, the UAE football team that qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London were also lauded.

But with 15 gold medals, 10 silver and 13 bronze medals in 2012, the Paralympic athletes ensured their federation was top among its peers.

The General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW), under instructions from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, organised the awards ceremony for the seventh year and a total of Dh17 million was allocated for distribution.

Ebrahim Abdul Malik, GAYSW general secretary, said that over the seven years since the awards began, there had been much progress.

"The youth of the nation have proved that they are very responsible and that they have a sense of longing and love for their country," he said.

"They have achieved what we have wanted and they have raised the UAE flag high -- I can't but thank them and offer my appreciation and admiration to our youth. They have a lot of sports accomplishments in their efforts to be number one and I must also thank the heads of the various federations for their devotion."

Two endurance judges, Ahmad Ali Al Hammadi and Abdul Aziz Shaikh, were among the list of judges/referees who were given awards.

Mohammad Ahmad Al Murr, the Speaker of the Federal National Council; Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to UAE President; Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports; Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. Other Shaikhs, ministers, dignitaries and senior sports officials were also present.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 3, 2013
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