Companies, government agencies, educational and social institutions across Qatar have completed their final preparations for the first ever National Sports Day, with events being held all over the country to mark the new national holiday today.
The country’s energy and industry sector has lined up a wide range of sports activities to effectively promote an active lifestyle among the industry’s employees and their families.
Under the directives of HE Dr Mohamed Saleh al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and chairman and managing director of Qatar Petroleum (QP), QP is spearheading the energy sector’s celebration of National Sports Day by organising numerous sports activities not only in Doha but also in Dukhan, Mesaieed Industrial City, Ras Laffan Industrial City, and even in its offshore operational areas. The range of activities being organised by QP’s various directorates includes outdoor games such as basketball, tennis, football, golf and cricket as well as indoor games like table tennis, chess, billiards and snooker.
Out of the total 343 activities that will be organised by Qatar’s energy sector for National Sports Day, QP accounts for the highest number of events, with up to 50 sports activities scheduled to be held in seven locations throughout the country. QP will also have the greatest number of locations hosting sports events, as the other industry stakeholders will be holding their activities primarily in Doha. Other QP joint ventures and subsidiaries have likewise scheduled a wide range of major activities for this year’s National Sports Day. Qatargas, for instance, will have a walkathon as well as basketball, football, cricket and volleyball competitions at Al Gharafa Sports Club, while RasGas is collaborating with the Aspire Zone Foundation to give its employees and their families a unique and fun-filled sporting experience.
Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) and Qatofin Company Ltd will have a “Mini Olympics” at the Grand Hyatt Doha, during which a variety of team and individual sports events will be held at the hotel’s beach area.
Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd (Tasweeq) will also hold various activities at the Grand Hyatt Doha, with football, volleyball and tug-of-war competitions for men, aerobics exercises for ladies, and many activities for children. Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) will host its staff and their families at The Diplomatic Club for a day of volleyball, football and basketball games as well as other sports activities for children.
Another QP subsidiary, Gulf Helicopters Company, will mark the occasion with swimming competitions for different age groups. Qatar Fuel Additives Company Ltd (Qafac) and Qatar Vinyl Company Ltd (QVC) together with other QP subsidiaries and joint ventures based in Mesaieed Industrial City (MIC) will be taking part in various activities at the newly-built Mesaieed Sports Complex. Among the sports events to be organised are 30-minute football games, a five-overs/six-a-side cricket tournament, a three-on-three basketball tournament, as well as five-a-side rugby matches.
The Qatar Football Association, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and Qatar Stars League will also host a special event for staff and members of their families to commemorate the occasion of Qatar National Sports Day.
The event has been named ‘Football Town,’ and will take place on the Aspire football field. A wide range of football-related festivities and entertainment for all ages will be on offer, including football tournaments, beach football clinics and an interactive fan zone for participants to test their footballing skills. Football enthusiasts will be able to measure the speed and accuracy of their free-kicks in addition to forming their own teams in the competitive five and seven-a-side tournaments.
Qatar Football Association and Qatar Stars League president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, said: “The football community in Qatar is committed to ensuring that National Sports Day is celebrated appropriately and has a genuine impact on improving participation in football and sport in general in our country. We expect this event to be well-attended by our staff and their families and that everyone will enjoy participating together in the football activities that we have arranged for this special day. Our collaboration on National Sports Day with our colleagues at the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee demonstrates the unified approach toward promoting football and sport to our local audience.”
Commenting on the initiative, Hassan al-Thawadi, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General, said: “The decision to create a day dedicated to sport in Qatar is a symbol of the strong commitment of our nation toward developing sporting participation across the population. Increased participation in sport has the potential to bring our communities together, encourage a better quality of life and shape a healthier future for generations to come. Qatar has an international reputation as a hub for staging successful sporting events and it is important that as our global sporting profile rises and we continue on our journey toward hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup, and that we simultaneously ensure that the people of Qatar are also engaged in sporting activity.”
The event will be boosted by the presence of a special guest, Ramiro Amarelle, widely regarded as the best beach football player in the world. Amarelle, who previously played in La Liga for Deportivo La Coruna, is the captain of the Spanish beach football team and coaches FC Barcelona’s beach squad. He will be on hand to host interactive clinics on beach football skills for all participants.
Msheireb Properties is demonstrating its support for Qatar National Sports Day by hosting a programme of sports activities for all its construction workers at its Msheireb Downtown Doha site.
The activities will run from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, and will feature various tournaments between Msheireb Properties employees, contractors, and construction workers. Sports will include football, volleyball and basketball which will see six teams compete in each event, with prizes for the winning team.
Dedicated facilities have been constructed by Msheireb Properties on site to accommodate the tournament. The company will also be arranging for the transportation of supporters, workers and colleagues from their accommodation to the tournament site.
Mohamed al-Marri, Director-Projects, Msheireb Properties, said: “Sport is an essential component of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, and the country’s successes so far in raising its sporting profile, especially in being selected to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, demonstrate the nation’s determination to pursue sporting excellence at every opportunity. The Qatar National Sports Day is a welcome initiative that furthers that goal.”
The Alfardan Group has announced a slew of sport activities to mark the day. The events will be held at the Pearl Qatar and the Al Ahli court, a spokesman said.
Among the activities are marathon, basketball, cricket and football matches. There are special events planned for family entertainment which include bouncing castles, sports and games, live cooking stations, magic show, face painting and pony ride.
About 1,500 employees of the group are to take part in the day-long celebration of the national sports day.
The day’s events will end with the giving away of the prizes to the winners at the Al Ahli court.
Staff at Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), a Qatar-based solar grade polysilicon company, have been gearing up for Qatar’s National Sports Day by attending a health awareness training session on Monday to learn some simple techniques to stay healthy from a leading doctor.
Khalid Klefeekh al-Hajri, board member and CEO of QSTec, invited Dr Emmanuel Tolessa, a consultant orthopaedic and spine surgeon at Al Ahli Hospital, to address employees at the QSTec offices in Al Nasr Tower, West Bay. In the hour-long session, Dr Tolessa highlighted the importance of a healthy lifestyle and demonstrated some easy exercises to staff that can be carried out at desks, at home or outside.
“At QSTec, the health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important to us,” said al-Hajri. “Today’s health awareness training session is just one of many initiatives to ensure all our employees enjoy a healthier and more productive lifestyle. We hope these simple yet effective exercises shown to us now will prepare us for activities on National Sports Day but also for the rest of the year too.”
Each QSTec staff member will be given a fitness set including a yoga mat, fitness ball and a DVD so they will be able to practice the exercises and techniques learned at the health awareness training session. On National Sports Day itself, QSTec staff will be heading over to Education City to join the many people participating in sporting activities organised by Qatar Foundation. Activities include volleyball, table tennis and basketball tournaments, as well as horse riding, aerobics and swimming classes. Many of the QSTec fitness sets have been handed out to organisations all across Doha and several more will also be handed out during the fun and games of during the day at Qatar Foundation events.
Ezdan Real Estate Company will take an active part in the celebration by supporting Ashghal’s activities as well as organising a football tournament for its employees. As many as 12 teams from different departments will contest for the top honours in the tournament, being held at the Ezdan Villages 21 and 24 in Wukair. The matches will begin in the morning and the event will conclude in the evening, followed by the prize distribution.
Shereef Ezat, governmental public relations manager, Ezdan Real Estate, also visited Ashghal and delivered gifts in support of Ashghal’s activites to Abdulla Saad al-Saad, manager of public relations and communication, Ashghal.
On the eve of Qatar’s National Sports Day, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) announced that it will launch an initiative that focuses on counting the amount of steps people take each day, with the aim to increase it to 10,000. AZF says that this method has been scientifically tested and proven to be highly effective in improving health and well-being. The programme will also include regular health assessments.
To be delivered in association with events that will take place at different locations around Qatar, the programme will include personal health monitoring through mobile health services and be supported through innovative technology that will supply free resources available both online and through other tools. The initiative will see AZF work with organisations, schools and clubs to promote healthy activities and fun competitions.
“Aspire Zone is delighted to announce that it will continue to provide the latest innovative programmes and services to the community to encourage a healthy lifestyle,” said AZF president Hilal al-Kuwari.
“We are excited by what can be achieved through this new initiative and the positive impact it can have on improving the healthy lifestyle habits.”
By Emiri Decree No 80, issued by the Heir Apparent, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the second Tuesday in February each year has been declared the State’s National Sports Day, moving the country closer to achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030 by promoting healthy lifestyles and building healthier communities.
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