The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) organised yet another successful Schools Olympic Day (SOD) event yesterday at the Qatar Sports Club. Dubbed ‘Special Day’, the sports programme held in conjunction with Qatar Special Needs Federation saw around 180 physically challenged students compete in various sports.
H E Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar Olympic Committee secretary-general, expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the competition and highlighted on the significance of the event.
Sheikh Saoud saw the event as a good venue for the physically challenged to improve themselves because they feel like normal people as they engage in sports. He was happy of the turnout saying he saw more spectators compared to ordinary competitions.
The opening ceremony was made even lively with the symbolic release of hundreds of multi-coloured balloons by the participants. “Sports is a place where people find common ground. It unites people from different social backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions. At its best, and with the right models, it challenges perceptions; changes attitudes; and acts as a powerful agent of change,” Sheikh Saoud said in his speech.
“For disabled people, participating in sport provides opportunities to develop new skills, make new friends, and most importantly to belong. It also teaches a person to realise that he can be good at something, and helps raise self-esteem,” Sheikh Saoud added. He also said the SOD is a powerful agent of change, in fact, it is more than just a sporting event being a national cultural project which contributes to the social growth of the country.
The students competed in various sports including running, long jump, softball throw, table tennis, shot put, and softball. Participating schools and groups comprised Al Noor for Visually Disabled, Al Doha International Center for Disabled Kids, Al Shafallah, Al Kadisiah School, Al Yarmouk (boys) School, Khalifa School, Qatar Special Needs Federation, Qatar Special Needs Society