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Posted On: 10 February 2012 05:55 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Get up and go, it’s sports day

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Government departments, sports federations, public and private companies are preparing to celebrate the Qatar National Sports Day (QNSD) on February 14. QNSD events are being organised to promote the physical well-being of Qatar’s population that was officially recognised as a priority by the Emiri Decree No. 80 of 2011, announcing that QNSD will be held on the second Tuesday of February every year. As well as encouraging people to enjoy sport, the Emiri Decree sought to raise awareness of the importance of physical health. According to this decree a plethora of events will be planned for the sports day. Katara, Qatar’s hotspot of culture, has planned a total of 25 activities including sports like football, table tennis, fencing, cycling, yoga, beach volleyball and football besides film screenings, lectures and exhibitions. A yoga session will open the QNSD events at 7.30am on the beach. A second yoga session exclusively for ladies will follow. Next on the programme starting 10am will be the Katara Mini Marathon as well as a special race for participants under 16 years. Top professional fencers will display their skills at a show starting 2pm close to the amphitheatre. The feature sports event of the day will be a football match between Qatar’s former national team and the current national team. The Katara Art Centre will exhibit Sultan Al Jassim’s Vintage Sports Photography Collection, showcasing sports in Qatar during the 1950s and 1970s. The exhibition will also feature rare photographs of the most important players and sports personalities in Qatar from that period. Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan al Thawadi will deliver a lecture on the importance of sports in Qatar and highlight relevance and benefits of hosting major football tournaments. Drawing the curtain on Katara’s QNSD programme will be screenings of Oscar-nominated film, Warrior featuring Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte and Joel Edgerton and Moneyball, a film based on a true story starring Brad Pitt and Robin Wright. The Qatar Police Sports Federation (QPSF) too will conduct sports activities for all police and civil staff of the Ministry of Interior. Activities will be held at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Qatar Sports Club from 8.30am to 11.30am. The QPSF programme includes football matches, aerobics, arm-wrestling, 100m, 1,000m races for adults and 50m for children, body fitness competition for those above 45 years. There will be sports activities for people with special needs and recreational activities for children and adults. Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is hosting sporting activities for all of its staff, students and their families. Football fans and culture connoisseurs will have the opportunity to tune in to QF Radio throughout QNSD. Listeners can telephone and take part in a sports and health trivia contest, with five competitors winning a pair of tickets each to see an FC Barcelona game at the famous Nou Camp stadium in the Catalonian city. The lucky winners will be invited to tour QF before they depart for Barcelona. QF Radio broadcasts on 93.7 FM, in both English and Arabic. QF’s array of events will be concentrated around four main locations at its campus. The Recreation Center’s activities will include swimming races, aerobics, spinning and Zumba classes, as well as cycling and cricket tournaments. At the QF’s grassed outdoor pitches ‘eggstacle’ race, a ball between knees game, and a balloon pop relay will be held. QF’s Student Center will attract some of QF’s more competitive community members with its programme including table tennis, badminton, volleyball and billiards tournaments. At Al Shaqab, Arabian horse shows and horse-drawn carriage rides will take place, along with other equestrian events. Aspire Zone Foundation, Middle East’s premier sports city and the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Development Project, will mark Qatar’s first National Sports Day on a grand scale attracting local community and sporting individuals. The highlight of Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) celebrations will be an open-to-all public walkathon ‘Discover Aspire Zone Facilities’ where participants will have the opportunity to take part in a relaxed, non-competitive 3km walk around the award-winning stadia and venues and learn about the world-class facilities at AZF. In addition to accomplishing the main goal of the walkathon, practicing sports, participants will be able to walk in places they don’t usually walk such as the football pitch and the athletes’ training ground. Participants who complete the event will receive a certificate along with their photo, taken at the Aspire Zone facilities. Separately, Aspire Zone Foundation employees will have a go at practicing and perfecting their games in a specially-erected football skills development carnival. Aspire Active’s Women’s Fitness programme will organise the popular Zumba challenge that fuses Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness exercise. Aspire Zone Foundation’s goals evolve around Qatar’ strategic vision for sport. One of the main goals of Aspire is to bring communities together through sport, and to encourage people to live active lives. The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has also planned a wide range of sport programmes to celebrate the sports day besides programmes of social and cultural importance. Spurred by the corporate slogan of Ashghal ‘Qatar deserves the best’, the sports day activities committee has coined a slogan ‘Sports make you the Best’ and planned a wide range of activities and programme suitable to various individuals to ensure maximum community participation. Ashghal has set up a sports day committee which has planned many events for its employees and their families during the day, which includes six championship games including football, basketball, table tennis, billiards, cricket and marathon race. These games shall be conducted in two sessions; the qualifying matches in the morning session followed by the final matches in the evening under the supervision of accredited umpires and referees. Special events to suit all ages, including telematch, kids sport events, family events and moral awareness regarding the importance of sport and healthy living in human life. The programmes include quiz competitions for children on the importance of sports, special awareness programmes for the public to familiarise them with the sport projects carried out by Ashghal such as provision of some public parks with sports facilities for football, volleyball, handball and basketball and provision of stadiums and sports halls for the schools in the state. Ashghal has planned a marathon that will cover a distance of 3km on the Al Rafaa Street (Festivals Road), divided into three age groups: 18-30 years, 30-45 years and for 45 and above. Gulf Times