Doha – February 9, 2013: Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar has revealed more details about The Challenge, it’s unique competition for schools.
The Challenge is part of the college’s innovative Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First campaign, and will see teams of 10 students from 15 schools from across Qatar compete in a series of fun events at the Aspire Dome on March 16.
The vision is to educate the nation’s youth about leading a healthy life and inspire them to incorporate the information into their daily lives.
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCMC-Q, said The Challenge and the wider Your Health First campaign demonstrated that as well as education and research, the college is taking a lead in supporting the health of the nation.
He said: “The Challenge will be the first contest of its kind in Qatar, having values in both education and physical fitness. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s Your Health First initiative is determined to support the country in achieving the aims of Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping create a healthy population able to make a meaningful contribution to a knowledge-based economy. We believe that Your Health First and The Challenge can assist us in this by engaging the country’s young people with education and physical fitness in an enjoyable way. If we can teach them about healthy living when they are young they will carry that information with them for the rest of their lives.
“With the support of the Supreme Council of Health, the Supreme Education Council, and our strategic partners - Qatar Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd., ExxonMobil and Vodafone Qatar - we can help create a healthy and prosperous future for all our citizens.”
Fifteen schools across Qatar were nominated to participate in The Challenge by the Supreme Education Council. Representatives from these schools recently attended a meeting and question and answer session to help them prepare for the event.
Nesreen Al-Refai, Director of the Public Affairs Department at WCMC-Q, said it was a pleasure to be working with the schools and great to hear their feedback of the initiative.
With The Challenge set to become an annual contest, it is expected that more schools will take part each year, so spreading the message of Your Health First to more and more of our young people.
The Challenge is divided into two sections: education and physical fitness. The education segment has seen students at the participating schools research and design a poster based around healthy lifestyles. These posters will be displayed at an exhibition scheduled for around the beginning of March. This will also be an opportunity for the students to discuss their work, their research and their opinions about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.
The physical fitness dimension of The Challenge will be held at the Aspire Dome on March 16.
This will be a high-profile event featuring teams from all of the participating schools. It will begin with a parade of the competitors in front of the audience before the young athletes take part in a series of fun competitions.
The activities, which have been designed for The Challenge by a specialist company with the highest health and safety standards in mind, have been titled Crazy Climber, Bird Cage Rage, Pendulum, Buzzy Bees, Vegetable Relay Race, and Wacky Waiter Race. Many of them involve dressing up in costumes that are related to science and healthy lifestyles.
Boys and girls will compete separately to finish each challenge with the top three boys’ teams and top three girls’ teams being awarded gold, silver and bronze. The top school will also receive a trophy. The students involved are all from the middle school and each one will receive a certificate of appreciation.
The event will be held over several hours at the Aspire Dome under the supervision of WCMC-Q in conjunction with the Supreme Education Council and the Supreme Council of Health, and it is expected that family, friends and fellow students will all be in the audience at the Aspire Dome to cheer on their team. Along with the games, there will also be interactive games and health professionals on hand to offer advice about healthy living and answer any questions.
Yasser Mohamed Karkour, Director of Orientation and Counseling at Abu Obaida School, said The Challenge, which is designed to encourage young people to examine their lifestyle, was an excellent idea that will pay dividends in the future.
He said: “It’s a very good campaign, with time it will get students thinking about their health.”
Solange Ahdab, an art teacher at the French school Lycee Bonaparte, said students at her school had made 50 posters on various health topics. She also said that the Your Health First poster competition had been incorporated into some of the work at the Lycee Bonaparte, helping to spread the message about living a healthy lifestyle.
Omar Adbdelhalim, a student at Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib School, chose obesity as the topic for his poster.
He said: Fast food is the main cause of obesity; it contributes to 40 per cent of cases. I learned that obesity is a major problem around the world, especially in England and the United States which have very high rates of obesity.”
For Osman Mustafa, of Abu Obaida School, nutrition and physical fitness were the inspiration for his poster. Osman, who himself plays volleyball and table tennis, said: “I chose nutrition and fitness as junk food is too common now and it is very rare that you find people of my age that are very active. In my poster I show how good nutrition and physical fitness benefits the individual person.”
Baudouin Sorlooten, a student at Lycee Bonaparte, chose the topic of road safety for his poster.
He said the subject was discussed in class and he was free to use different artistic techniques to get his message across.
Smoking was the topic Nathalie Ramadan, from the Lebanese School, opted for. She said that the health risks from smoking are well known and she wanted to live in a smoke-free world.
The schools taking part in The Challenge are: Omar Bin Khattab Preparatory, Lebanese School, English Modern School, International School of Choueifat, Al Yarmouk School, Cambridge School, Qatar Academy, Amna Bint Wahab Independent Preparatory School for Girls, Al Jazeera Academy, Lycee Bonaparte, Doha British School, AbuBakr Assedeeq Boys Preparatory, Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib School, Abu Obaida School, Al Bayan Girls’ Preparatory School.
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