I was fortunate to experience diving at a very young age by my uncle (Sultan), and the experience that I garner from every dive has always been very memorable. Diving today is one of my passions, especially because Oman and likewise Omanis have traditionally shared a very close relationship with the sea. What is most satisfying in being a part of the Oman Disabled Diving is the ability to give people the chance to experience the wonders that lay beneath the surface of the water.
When I was approached by Tariq I did not know that a group of very special people aspired to establish an association involved with diving and the disabled. Upon researching more into the disabled diving in Oman and the realizations of its events and the fulfillment of amazement and motivation of its members I was truly moved and wanted to focus on the association and make it one of my key initiatives.
With every event that the organization undertakes and the growth of the association is testament to the importance of this association and its events. The ODD gives the disabled the chance to partake in the enjoyment and fulfillments of life’s journey and this I believe is a truly wonderful thing. With the strong team behind the association I have no doubt that the ODD is a strong contributor to the success of our society.
I wish ODD all the best for their future and will have my unwavering support for anything that the association needs for their future growth.
Sayyid Nasr bin Badr bin Hamed Al-Busaidi
Omanis are known to be very good swimmers. With 2100 kilometers of pristine coastal stretch bordering Oman, this beautiful country’s people are naturally good swimmers. And, some of them are very good swimmers…but what about the ones who are disabled?
Although, I did think of this in passing, I had never delved into it and frankly, it was Stefanie Trier who opened my eyes to this fact. She also told me about something new and exciting for the disabled diving!
“What about diving for the disabled?” she asked me and my answer was my open mouth. I could not imagine them swimming, so, how could I imagine them diving? I was at that time involved with organizing extreme sports events with her, and so, I just told her, hold on to the idea, but in my mind, I was telling myself that nothing was going to happen.
We have been successful in organizing extreme sports, it was at this stage that Stefanie brought up the subject of the disabled diving again. So, this time, I finally agreed and we started working on this exciting project. Along the way, we got the necessary permissions and also included a doctor from Germany. Everything went off in clockwork fashion…
We had the medical forms delivered to the Handicapped Centre in Al Khoud. Both, the ministries of social development and sports affairs were informed in writing and 40 children and adults were invited. It included those who were paralyzed, blind, deaf and mute.
On October 8, 2009, the team from the International for the Handicapped Divers arrived in Oman and the next day, the participants were briefed by the officials about what they were going to face, once they are in the water. The team also included three Omani divers.
Needless to say, it was a grand success. Something one could never have imagined before had happened now before our very eyes. The minister of sports affairs Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi invited us to his office and personally appreciated our efforts and we, in turn, pledged to make this event an annual one.
This year (from April 4 to 8) we also participated in the Handicapped Festival Week, which was held in Sur. The event was organized jointly by the ministry of sports affairs and ministry of social development.
We also made an agreement with our partners, IDDA, to make Oman their hub for the Gulf countries. Let me express my gratefulness to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s government and also the Royal Oman Police for extending all necessary assistance for these events.
Before I conclude, let me thank all sponsors for their support for making this event possible. Thank you!
Tariq Jawad Al Khabori
Founder member and Team coordinator