Qatar Schools Olympic Program Invites International Schools to Participate

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With the goal of increasing the number of participating schools in Qatar, committee members of the Qatar Schools Olympic Program (SOP) visited a number of international schools across the country in June.

The SOP is held annually as a collaborative effort of Qatar Olympic Committee, Supreme Education Council, Qatar School Sport Association and Qatar Paralympics Committee, with hundreds of student athletes competing from all over Qatar.

The SOP committee aims to spread a culture of sports throughout Qatar’s schools and to engage the entire community in active and healthy lifestyles while retaining local values and traditions.

The international school visits are part of an ongoing plan to include schools that have not previously participated in the program, which has operated for the past five years with the participation, to date, of 370 schools.

SOP committee members visited the German School Doha, the Philippine School Doha, the Sherborne School, Al Khor International School, and The Cambridge School. At each of the schools, principals, sports directors and physical education teachers turned out to discuss opportunities for their students.

A key priority for the SOP committee is to engage both local and expatriate student athletes in the program, a goal that was welcomed by the international schools.

SOP Executive Director Mohamad al Fadhala said: "The majority of the participating schools in the last five editions of SOP were independent schools. We have decided to increase the participation of international schools as they – and their students – are an integral part of our community." SOP committee members will continue their visits to international schools when school resumes in September.

Sherborne School Director of Sports, Mr. Jonathan Rawlinson said: "We are very keen to participate in the Schools Olympic Program as we consider it a pioneering initiative not only in Qatar but in the region."

The school year 2012-2013 will see the program explore the theme of “Sports and Investment” via partner Enterprise Qatar. This year’s slogan, “Schools Olympic Program: Investing in Qatar’s Youth,” as well as new program elements in events and activities, will reinforce the importance of sports and their related investment projects, and the positive social impact resulting from an active, healthy community.

The 6th edition of the ever-expanding Schools Olympic Program will kick-off this September with an official launch and a new logo.