Qatar Olympic Committee partners with Reach Out to Asia to celebrate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

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The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) has partnered with Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) to celebrate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.The two organizations were joined by athletes participating in the 2nd GCC Beach Games and schoolchildren to mark the 2nd edition of the initiative, which aims to highlight the power of sport as a catalyst for social change, development and peace.

The QOC has used the occasion of hosting the 2nd GCC Beach Games in Doha to promote International Day of Sport for Development and Peace to the whole of the GCC. Athletes, National Olympic Committees, schoolchildren and the general public have united with the QOC and ROTA to celebrate this important UN initiative, which is supported by the International Olympic Committee.

Speaking from Al Gharafa Club, one of the venues of the GCC Beach Games, Mohamed al-Fadala, Director of PR and Marketing at the QOC and Executive Director of the Schools Olympic Program, said:

“The Qatar Olympic Committee is pleased to partner with Reach Out to Asia to celebrate International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Sport is an incredibly powerful tool for social change and community development, and we are fully supportive of the work that the UN and International Olympic Committee are doing to build a better world through sport. The GCC Beach Games is a fantastic opportunity to promote this initiative as it unites different nations through sport and highlights the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle in all members of society.

“The Qatar Olympic Committee is also committed to ensuring that the promotion of this initiative is more than just one day of celebration. The theme of this year’s Schools Olympic Program was ‘Sport and Peace’ and, through our partnership with Reach Out to Asia, we were able to educate our schoolchildren about the importance of sport in developing and uniting society and spread the Olympic values of friendship and respect. It is wonderful to have children from the Schools Olympic Program here today so that they can see first-hand the power of sport in action.”

Reach Out to Asia is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of Qatar, and chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser. It aims to provide those in need across the Asian continent with quality education and provide support to its neighbouring countries as they overcome developmental difficulties. ROTA has also recently helped to launch the #1in11 campaign, which is a unique partnership between UNICEF, the FC Barcelona Foundation and ROTA to harness the power of sport and education to ensure that every child has the opportunities they deserve in life. Lionel Messi and Serena Williams are Ambassadors of the campaign.

Speaking on International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, Director of National Projects for ROTA, Mohamed Abdulla, said:

“The objectives of Reach Out to Asia are fully aligned with the objectives of International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and we are very happy to partner with the Qatar Olympic committee to show our support for this initiative. ROTA has many projects across Asia that are using sport to assist with social revitalisation, youth development and access to quality education. We are committed to helping the global effort to achieve basic, quality education for schoolchildren throughout Asia and the Middle East and sport is an important tool in helping to succeed in this.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is a UN initiative with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It offers the opportunity to promote sport and physical activity as a universal tool and driver for social change, contributing to development, the fight against social stigma and discrimination, gender equality, healthy behaviours and peace-building. Part of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 also reflects the need to reinforce the role of sport in society, and to strengthen strategic partnerships to this end.

The IOC are celebrating the Day through a digital campaign on its social platforms featuring stories of popular Olympians and sports people who have used their fame to give back and contribute to social change through sport. They are encouraging National Olympic Committees, athletes and sports organisations around their world to tweet their support for the day using the hash tag #sport4betterworld.

The QOC has been raising awareness of the initiative as part of the GCC Beach Games sport presentation, as well as encouraging all athletes and National Olympic Committees participating in the GCC Beach Games to tweet their support, and promoting it through the QOC’s own social media channels.