To mark the second annual National Sport Day, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development rejoiced by hosting family-friendly sports competitions and events for its staff, students, faculty and members of the public.
A variety of fun-filled contests were organised around the Foundation’s five major locations, including running and cycling races, football matches, karate classes and golf lessons, amongst others.
Games and activities were also planned for children of all ages and for those with special needs. Additionally, a friendly cricket match was played between Msheireb Properties’ workersand Qatar Foundation staff, attracting a huge crowd of onlookers and cricket enthusiasts.
"With community development as one of the three key pillars of Qatar Foundation’s mission, on this year’s National Sport Day wearranged games and activities for all members of thepublic in order to encourage the incorporation of sport and physical activity into their daily routines,” explained Dr FathySaoud, President of Qatar Foundation.
“Qatar Foundationstrives to celebrate sport year-round, which is facilitated by the state-of-the-art sports facilities available to all of our students, staff and faculty.If you take a stroll through our recreation and student centres during the week, you'll find people of all ages coming in and out of the gym and team practices. We are continually emphasisingthe importance of physical fitness and nutrition in order to promote personal health, and, ultimately, secure the community’s long-termwell-being."
In addition to the competitions taking place across campus, the day was also educational for those on site. Many visited the Health and Wellness Campaign Fitbit Booth, for example, to receive tips and advice on how best to incorporate healthier diets and exercise into their daily lives.
Al Shaqab also offered a pure breed Arabian horse show, jumping demonstrations and horse rides to commemorate Qatar’s rich heritage in equine sporting activities.Participants of all ages were thrilled by the sport-loving atmosphere felt across the Foundation’s grounds.
Faisal M. Alsuwaidi, President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation,stressed the importance of the day: "We truly appreciate the wise decision issued by the His Highness the Heir Apparentlast yearto declarea national day devoted to sport. The wider community is indeedbearing the fruits of that resolution. Alldifferent age groups, for example, arestriving to adopt healthier lifestyles by participating in sport.”
“I applaud all institutions nationwidethat have organised events, activities and entertainment today.This is helping our community to understand how best to adopt healthy eating andphysical fitness routines,” he continued.
Resonating MrAlsuwaidi’s words, Mr Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab, declared: "The initiativestaking place today aim to educate Qatar’s youth on the importance of exercise and health. This vision is in line with Al Shaqab’s own objectives, as we strive to provide acollaborative experience by offering both educational and athletic activities. As a member of Qatar Foundation, Al Shaqabis also committed to securing the nation’s well-being.”
Mr Ibrahim A. Al-Obaidli, Director of Community Affairs at Qatar Foundation stated: “Today is a time to reflect on athletics and sport in Qatar and our commitment to securing the long-term health of the population. Placing health as a priority is the best way for us to move towards building a more developed society, one that we are all working to achieve.”
“Companies and institutions operating nationwide have a responsibility to look after the health of all members of the public, and organising today’s sporting activities has ultimately become a part this social responsibility," he continued.
Eng. Mohammed Al-Marri,Chief Officer of Design and Delivery at Msheireb Properties commented on the participation of his team in Qatar Foundation’s activities: “It was a privilege to participate with Qatar Foundation in celebrating our second National Sport Day. It encouraged our staff, contractors, suppliers and construction workers employed at Msheireb Downtown Doha to join in the many sports, games and activities and promote the benefits of an active lifestyle. Engaging with the community through sport was a wonderful opportunity to bring together all those involved in the construction of our flagship project and we’re already looking forward to next year.”
Having establishedtop recreational facilities oncampus, fitted with the latest equipment and technologies, the Foundation is promoting a sport culture by emphasising physical fitness as key tolong-term health. In fact, its gyms have witnessed a substantial increasein daily use since the inauguration of National Sport Day.
"There is no doubt that the holidayhas encouraged individuals of all age groups to sign up for more sports teams and to work out in the gyms on a more regular basis,” explained Mr Mohammed Al-Maliki, an employee of Qatar Foundation’s Health, Safety, Security & Environment Directorate.
“For example, I use the recreation centre almost daily. Qatar Foundation’s facilities offer a wide variety of exercise machines, which enables all individuals to work out at a level that suits their fitnessand play sports at any time. I have not only noticed this boost in participation on the Foundation’s campus, but nationwide.”
Since the introduction of National Sport Day, other students, faculty and staff at Qatar Foundation have also made great strides to incorporate physical fitness and healthy eating into their daily routines.
“The National Sport Day awareness campaign has both pushed and inspired me to follow a healthy lifestyle and incorporate a diverse number of sportingactivitiesinto my daily routine,” said Ms Nadine Kassab, who participated in Qatar Foundation’s sport day event along with of her familymembers.
"Throughout the course of this past year, I have been continually exercising, and the results have been tremendous, positively affectingboth my social and professional lives.”
Mr Marc Murad, an employee of Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, has also undergone a tremendous transformation since last year’s sport day."The sports facilities provided by Qatar Foundation are wonderful because they bring students, staff and faculty members and their familiescloser together. I personally use the gymsix days a week. Today, after one year, I have managed to lose 23 kilogrammes.”
Qatar Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the nation’s citizens. Placing great importance on the country’s overall welfare, it is dedicated to this vision of fostering a sport-loving society.