Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, kicked off this year’s National Sport Day activities at Qatar Foundation by leading off a walkathon in aid of Türkiye and Syria, called ‘Walk For a Cause’.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza was joined by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, and His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani, President of Qatar Olympic Committee, who participated in the walkathon, held in collaboration with Qatar Charity to raise funds for those affected by the recent earthquake.
Fatima Al-Mohannadi, a community member who took part in Walk For a Cause said: “My heart has been so heavy this past week and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do anything this National Sport Day, until I heard of this walk. It was the perfect way to start this year’s National Sport Day by using it as an opportunity to show our wholehearted support for the people in Türkiye and Syria.”
This year, Qatar Foundation (QF) hosted a fun triathlon, called Try-a-Tri, to create awareness about the sport and encourage more participation in it. Try-a-Tri was open to anybody who wished to try the sport, with distances in the adult and children’s categories marked as 100m for swimming, followed by a 4km bike race, and ending with a 1.5km running race. The event saw many experiencing a triathlon for the first time.
Brik Zine Eddine, a Try-a-Tri participant in his thirties, who works as a safety and security officer in a private company in Doha, said: “It is National Sport Day that provided me with the opportunity to get acquainted with and participate in this sport. Qatar Foundation continuously highlights the importance of sports and seeks to promote it to everyone in society.”
Ruaridh Melville, a 10-year-old Australian-born student in a private school in Doha, said: “I participated in the triathlon, which for some people seems to be physically challenging, but that does not mean that people can’t try it out.”
In addition to QF’s line-up of sports challenges and activities across Education City – which saw large numbers of community members participate, with Qatar Olympic Committee as QF’s main partner - the Education City Stadium was also utilized to host sports activities for women and girls only, hosting the semi-finals and finals of the Women and Girls Football Tournament.
Shaima Abdullah, a 31-year-old player in Qatar’s national football team and one of the players whose team qualified for the finals of the women's football competition, said: "I am overjoyed that our team has made it to the final match. It is a true testament to the hard work and dedication that each one of us has put into this journey.
"I hope one day the idea that football is only for men will be a thing of the past, and that more women around the world will have the opportunity to play this beautiful sport. Sport is important for everyone regardless of their age and abilities, and it should be an integral part of our daily lives."
Al-Anoud Mubarak Al-Hitmi, a Grade 8 Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) student whose team reached third place in the football competitions for women and girls at the Education City Stadium, said: "We kicked down barriers and broke through stereotypes, showing that women's football is just as competitive and deserving of recognition as any other sport.”
And her teammate and fellow Grade 8 QAD student Maha Al-Thani, agreed, saying: "I am proud to be a part of a new generation of girls who are breaking down barriers and stereotypes about sports. As we take on sporting challenges, we are not just competing; we are inspiring and empowering one another to reach new heights and achieve our dreams.”
The Education City Stadium also saw teams compete in a functional fitness challenge made up of burpees, squats, mountain climbers and others, and using equipment such as rowing machines and medicine balls.
Lynn Safrini, a Grade 10 student, said: ”I feel grateful to have had the chance to participate in the 'Qadha' challenge with my mother and sisters, and won the first place. It was a great feeling to work together as a team not only to win but also to create memories that we will cherish for a lifetime.”
In addition to her participation with her mother and sisters in the activities dedicated to women, the rest of the family members participated in the activities held in various parts of Education City.
Ensuring that sports activities are inclusive, QF’s Ability Friendly Program and Renad Academy – a QF school – hosted games of basketball and football. With Qatar having hosted the most accessible FIFA World Cup, QF aims to contribute to a sporting and social legacy that can be accessible to people of all ages and abilities – reflecting that sport is there to benefit everyone, and that it can provide momentum for a culture of accessibility and a sense of empowerment that has enduring societal value.
Centered at the Ceremonial Green Spine in Education City, QF schools organized an array of exciting sports activities, where each schools’ students showcased their unique skills and interests. Tariq Bin Ziad School presented traditional Qatari games, while students from Qatar Academy for Science and Technology demonstrated Qatar athlete Mutaz Barshim’s high jump, and students from Qatar Leadership Academy showed their mastery of jiu-jitsu.
Dr. Greg Moncada, Founding Director of Qatar Foundation school Qatar Academy for Science and Technology (QAST), encouraged and cheered for QAST students, saying: “We chose Barshim’s jump this year based on our desire for students to improve their ability to make graphs and to work with data. And so we had participants do vertical jumps. We will then use that data to help them figure out what were the highest, lowest, and average heights.
“As our mission is to empower our students to become innovators at every opportunity, we try to have our students do the work and learn that they can take a little bit of what they learned and put it into to action.”
Nasser Jassim Al-Sayed, a Grade 11 student at Qatar Leadership Academy, said: “The academy represents jiu-jitsu today because of its many benefits, such as self-defense, boosting self-confidence, and discipline. And being a military school, this sport is of particular importance for our students to provide them with the necessary skills after graduation."
Source and cover image credit: Press release
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