Qatar is one of the very few countries in the world to dedicate a public holiday to sport -- and the number of people that have turned out to join in activities over the last few years reflects the impact its had on the population. Now in its 7th year, Qatar National Sport Day 2018 (QNSD) -- a public holiday -- kicks off even bigger with a line-up of sports and recreational activities scattered across the country on February 13, custom-fit for the whole family.
QNSD was established in 2012 with the aim of uniting the nation in a shared celebration of sport, while inspiring people to lead active, healthy lifestyles. The day’s main purpose is to promote sports and to educate the local population on ways to reduce health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. QNSD is also viewed as an opportunity to bring communities closer together through sport, based on the sporting principles of team-building, inclusion, unity, participation, fitness, and health.
The government always makes it a tradition to require both public and private institutions to organize sports events for their employees. So it's not hard to find events to attend if you want to take part and be physically active. These government ministries and institutions include the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), Aspire Zone, and various other sporting organizations who play a prominent role at a number of events across Qatar. One such committee -- the Qatar Football Association (QFA) -- recently announced that they've already completed their preparations by setting up several events and activities in partnership with different local entities and organizations.
Activities range from football to basketball, tennis to taekwondo, cycling to swimming, with countless free sporting sessions and social competitions, available to all. While several regular events are held every year in conjunction with QNSD, we've also listed activities which will be inaugurated this year for the first time -- as well as returning ones.
As with previous years, tens of thousands of local community members will celebrate National Sport Day at AZF’s world-class outdoor and indoor facilities this year, with plans for 2018 proving once again that AZF offers something for everyone, no matter their age or level of fitness.
Aspire Zone will be buzzing with activity from morning to night. Their activities for the 2018 QNSD are as follows:
The Fun Run activity, one of the most popular events in AZF’s QNSD program in previous years, is back by popular demand and will be open to all members of the community, including men, women, families, children, and persons with special needs. It will include a 2.5-kilometre course around Khalifa International Stadium. Registration for the race will begin at 6:30 a.m. and will last until 7:30 a.m. The race will then start at 8:00 a.m. in between Khalifa International Stadium and the Torch Hotel.
Dodgeball joins the wide range of activities that visitors have come to expect from AZF.It’s similar to a handball game in which players on two teams try to throw balls at each other while avoiding being hit themselves. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will last until 3:00 p.m. It takes place on Football Pitch 10.
Aspetar teams from the 'Exercise is Medicine' program will offer a 2-hour Nordic walking activity from 11:00 a.m. at Aspetar’s West Wing. Nordic walking is low-impact, delivers total body fitness, increases cardio fitness, burns calories, and activates 90% of the body’s muscles. It's a ‘total body’ version of walking that can be enjoyed by non-athletes as a healthy physical activity. In addition to walking, the activity will include fun games and different exercises for stretching, balancing, and conditioning.
The Qatar Football Association (QFA), Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the Qatar Stars League (QSL), are collaborating once again to organize a staff football tournament at Aspire and will see teams from the football family compete for the title in a fun and non-competitive environment.
Apart from these, Japanese Kendo shows, a play area for children and families, recreational activities in the Aspire Dome, team-building events, a Namat session, and volleyball competitions are also lined-up to take place in the Aspire Zone for the QNSD 2018. More details will be made available by the organizing committee closer to February 13 through the Life in Aspire mobile application, the Life in Aspire website and AZF’s various social media channels.
The 2018 Qatar Total Open -- one of the most prestigious tennis events in the world -- is running in the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex from February 12 to 18. The sensational field will feature World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who will come to Doha as the new WTA World No.1 after winning her first-ever Grand Slam in Australia defeating Simona Halep in an epic battle. Germany's Angelique Kerber and rising star Jelena Ostapenko among others will also participate in the Doha event. Click here to buy your tickets.
The Qatar Football Association and Qatar Shell have teamed up to celebrate this year's QNSD at Katara Cultural Village with their award-winning corporate social responsibility program 'Koora Time.' The program is designed to improve the health and well-being of young people in Qatar through football. Since its launch in March 2013, the program has benefited over 17,500 children across Qatar. Last year’s program saw a significant reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) by 80% of participants. BMI is a measure of body-fat based on height and weight. Golf activities will also be taking place in the Cultural Village, together with handball, equestrian, rowing, cycling, triathlon, air sports, karate, and rugby activities.
Qatar Foundation will be bustling with activities for the 2018 QNSD! Join them for a lively day of fun and excitement in Education City. The Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) will be one of the centres that will get involved in the activities and will be at Oxygen Park on February 13. 'The Challenge' is a large-scale sporting festival where you compete through a series of challenging physical activities. There are five different challenges (Strength, Strategy, Balance, Concentration, and Competition), and you and your team will have to overcome them all! This activity is for those aged 16 and over, and it's preferable if you pre-register for the activity online so that they can sort you into your teams. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. is for the general public, while 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. is reserved for ladies-only.
Ooredoo is hosting the 2018 National Sport Day at Museum of Islamic Art Park for the 7th consecutive year with lots of activities planned for everyone from toddlers to adults. Apart from the usual activities to be held, some of the interesting physical engagements that the whole family could enjoy include lemon race, wood rail race, penalty shoot out, tug-of-war, hand ball, human bowling, taekwondo, and the crowd-favorite Beat the Bar!
(Video embedded from Ooredoo Qatar's Youtube account)
Vodafone will encourage the community and its own staff to get fit for the future on QNSD 2018. As Platinum Sponsor of Qatar Foundation’s National Sports Day event, Vodafone will engage the public with exciting interactive and augmented reality activities, including 2D ball-juggling, football scoring speed shot, paddling race-track and much more. Happening in Qatar Foundation’s Ceremonial Court from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., visitors will also be able to take a break by enjoying a coffee at Flat White coffee shop that will be present in Vodafone’s area at the event.
The fun starts from 10:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. at Doha Festival City -- Qatar's biggest shopping mall! The newly-opened go-to place for locals and expats alike is set to host an action-packed day of activities for everybody. Offering sport activities which are mostly for free, DFC will conduct an indoor obstacle course in Centre Court as well as a pop-up area where children can test their skills in tennis, golf and football in the South Food Court. Shoppers have a chance to find all their sporting gear between the wide selections of sporting stores in Doha Festival City. From workout gear and trainers, to special equipment for indoor and outdoor activities, the participating outlets include Adidas, Timberland, The North Face, NBA, Nike, The Athletes Co., Footlocker, Go Sport, and so much more.
Activities range from sunrise yogam, spinning, and aqua gym for the morning session, while rowing challenge, water polo, table tennis, RPM, and zumba are scheduled to take in the afternoon till 9:00 p.m. Tickets are not needed and you can email them at: [email protected], visit their website, or call them at (+974) 4485 4600 for questions.
From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., ladies can celebrate the 2018 QNSD at Losail International Circuit with walking, running, cycling, and rollerblading activities! No men will be allowed inside the track area and only boys under 9 years of age are allowed to enter. Fitness classes, kids activities, and healthy workshops are likewise scheduled for the whole day. Entry is free of charge. Detailed program to be announced soon.
Spend QNSD 2018 at the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum. Children's entrance and activities will be free during this special family day.
Ibn Ajayan Projects is celebrating QNSD 2018 at Asian Town with various sports activities. The event will begin with an opening ceremony with a bicycle fun race at 8:30 a.m. followed by games including basketball for men, volleyball (males & females), cycling, skating, team-building/obstacle relay, karate demonstration class, poster painting competition, a tug-of-war competition in association with the Indian Sports Centre, cricket match, cricket bowled out competition, sepak takraw, a car show, and kids sports meet. The event will conclude by 4:00 p.m. with a prize distribution ceremony.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced that it's prepared a program for QNSD 2018. The program, to be held at Katara from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. to mark the special occasion, includes activities such as walking, light exercises, and beach volleyball, the ministry has said in a statement. Besides these, the MEC has been keen to allocate safe playing areas for children to take part in volleyball and basketball. It's also included a number of awareness and cultural activities to inform participants about the various health benefits of sports.
AFG College, with the University of Aberdeen, is organizing their first-ever 'Qatar Fun Run,' taking place on QNSD 2018. The fun run will be held on Al Ghariya Street in the Al Waab area and will start at 8:30 a.m. The organizers are expecting a large turnout of students and family members to participate in the registration-free activity. All proceeds will go to Education Above All, a global education program launched by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation.
Join Ezdan Real Estate on QNSD and enjoy various sports events at Ezdan Village 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Besides a 5km family walkathon, outdoor aerobics, a karate show, and a kids' bicycle race, there will also be a free fitness class with Coach Rahma at 10:00 a.m. which is exclusive only for ladies.
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Immerse yourself in a guilt-free indulgence with their buffet spread filled with the goodness of power drinks, healthy salads, and fun activities only at the world’s first LaLiga Lounge. Pay QR 150 per person, inclusive of soft beverages. Enjoy a 50% discount for kids ages 6—12 years-old, while kids below 6 dine for free. For room reservations, call 4485-4444 or email [email protected].
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has again partnered with 50 members of the country’s hospitality sector to offer residents and visitors a healthy, action-packed 2018 QNSD. This year, hotels from across the 2, 3, 4 and 5-star categories will be offering various packages from February 12 to 14. Packages include free access to hotel gyms, discounts on gym memberships of up to 50%, and free gym classes. Foodies can also enjoy healthy buffets at special prices, while those seeking a staycation can avail of a ‘bed-and-healthy-breakfast’ at attractive rates for the duration of the offer. As the various hotels are providing different offers, QTA advises residents to check a detailed listing of all hotel deals, which is available here! Prior reservations are required for all hotel offers – those interested should contact the hotel directly to make a reservation.
Other national federations are also holding their activities across Qatar on QNSD 2018. A swimming open day will also be taking place in Hamad Aquatic Centre, while the Qatar Women’s Sport Committee will hold activities at its premises in Al Waab.
The seventh edition of QNSD is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and is in line with the Qatar Football Association’s 2021 vision which aims to encourage everyone – particularly students - to play more football and make it an essential part of their daily lives.
Will you be outdoors all day for the 2018 Qatar National Sport Day? If so, where are you heading to to sweat it off and get fit? Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know! Also, don't forget to like and share this article!
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