The Ability program was launched on September 26, 2016 by the Beirut Marathon Association with the objective to empower special needs participants by offering them the proper support and equipment to enable them to perform at their best during the marathon. This initiative was made possible due to the humanitarian support of Mrs. Chahrazad Rizk, a Beirut Marathon Board of Trustees member.
In its 3rd edition, the Ability program was organized in accordance with international guidelines, under the supervision of the Beirut Marathon’s Race Director Wissam Terro, who describes the program as “a unique platform in the Arab region, one that gives hope in sports to the special needs category by providing them with the necessary tools to train and compete on national and international levels .”
The Ability program team of 22 women and men showed great progress in a short time. The committed members won podiums in Lebanon and abroad. A prominent example in this regard is the distinguished athlete Ahmad Al Ghoul, who won the first place in the overall category between the Lebanese with a time of 01:25:43. The training starts two months before the race and takes place in Beirut and Tripoli Municipal Stadiums under the leadership of national coach Mohammed Al Ali and his assistant Bilal Al Tabach.
Mrs. May El Khalil, President of the Beirut Marathon Association, and Board of Trustees member Mrs. Chahrazad Rizk, were both keen on following up the program’s updates through field visits to support the para-athletes in the challenges they face by giving them the right encouragement needed to keep going.
In 2018 the BLOM BANK Beirut Marathon was integrated in the calendar of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). Hand cyclists participating in the event will be able to collect points for the Paralympics.