Etihad Airways has flown the Australian team of athletes, coaches and volunteers across the globe to Abu Dhabi to compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The flight left Sydney with 105 athletes on board who will participate in more than 11 sports including basketball, swimming, football and tennis in front of half a million spectators from 14-21 March 2019.

Etihad General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Sarah Built joined Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove and other dedicated supporters of the Special Olympics Australia team to bid farewell to the Australian team.

“Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 is the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year. Here at Etihad, we see a truly remarkable opportunity to provide a platform to connect with people through sports, inclusively”.

Etihad General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Sarah Built

“We are proud to support the Special Olympics which deserves more awareness. It has been incredibly humbling for our business to support both a fantastic cause and the many talented individuals representing Australia as they prepare for this life-changing event”.

Special Olympics CEO Corene Strauss said Etihad has embraced the “most marginalised and misunderstood community in the nation”.

“Over the years, it has proven immensely challenging to secure support for our organisation which provides a year-round sports program for all people with an intellectual disability which pinnacles at the World Games,” she said.

“The airline is simultaneously helping us to end the stigma and discrimination that people with intellectual disabilities face and we are very grateful for their support.”

Join us in wishing the Australian team good luck.