The Local Organising Committee of the Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships held on Sunday a workshop for disability centres from across Qatar. The workshop provided representatives with information about the World Championships and para-sport in an effort to further engage people with disabilities across the country.
With just 10 days to go, the largest para-sport event ever to come to the Middle East will be held at Qatar Sports Club from 21-31 October and will see 1,400 para-athletes from 100 countries competing to be the best in the world and vie for qualifying spots to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Tickets are on sale now at https://doha2015.q-tickets.com and in Qatar Olympic Committee booths in Villagio, City Centre and Landmark malls. All proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to charity.
Commenting on the importance of the workshop, Mr Ameer Al-Mulla, CEO of the Organising Committee and Executive Director of the Qatar Paralympic Committee, said:
“Sport is a very powerful tool in empowering and engaging people with a disability of all ages and abilities. It is our aim to use the IPC Athletics World Championships to raise awareness about para-sport and disability and to inspire people everywhere to see that anything is possible. This workshop has enabled us to have an open dialogue with disability centres across Qatar in order to share information about the World Championships and to understand how we can fully engage people with a disability and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
Several key disability centres attended the workshop including, Mada, Hope Qatar, and the Awsaj Academy. Mr Al-Mulla and Sheikha Asma al-Thani, Marketing Director of the Organising Committee, provided the centres with information about the impact that the World Championships will have on breaking down barriers and changing perceptions about disability in Qatar and across the region, as well as sharing details about how their members can take part either as spectators or volunteers. Attendees were encouraged to provide feedback on how the attendance of their members can be as easy and straight forward as possible. The benefit of sports participation on physical and mental health was also discussed and members were encouraged to sign up to participate in sporting activities provided by the Qatar Paralympic Committee.
Speaking at the workshop, Sheikha Asma al-Thani said:
“It is our aim to use these World Championships to share the incredible stories of the athletes that are competing. We want to shine a spotlight on how these athletes have defied limitations and used sport to overcome adversity and achieve amazing feats. We hope that they inspire people everywhere to see that anything is possible despite your circumstance, and empower them to achieve their goals. We encourage everyone to get their tickets now to support these incredible athletes.”
The LOC spokespeople encouraged the attendees to promote the World Championships amongst their members to ensure maximum awareness. They also shared information about the Qatari athletes that will be competing and encouraged everyone to get behind them and support them as they aim to make their Qatar proud. Leading Team Qatar is world-record holder and Asian Para-Games Champions, Abdelrahman Abdelqader who will be going for gold in the shot put F34 and aiming to become Qatar’s first-ever para-athletics World Champions. Speaking on how sport helped him deal with his disability, he said:
“Athletics has helped me tremendously, especially physically. Once I started training I realised a change in my body immediately – I lost weight, my muscles grew stronger and my mobility improved. I believe everyone can benefit from sport, regardless of ability. I really hope the World Championships inspire people with disabilities to take up sport and to challenge their limitations.”
Meanwhile, merchandise for the World Championships has gone on sale in Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) booths in City Centre and Landmark malls. The colourful merchandise includes ceramic mugs and water bottles, bags, a plethora of t-shirts, caps and apparel, as well as USB sticks.
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