Doha, Qatar: Qatar celebrated its first-ever National Sports Day today with Government agencies, private sector companies, educational and social institutions coming together to organise over 350 free activities to promote sport and healthy lifestyle.
The Qatar Olympic Committee oversaw the preparations which included all public sports facilities in Qatar opening their doors to the public for free between 7am and 8pm.
Qatar Petroleum spearheaded the energy sector’s activities with over 50 sports activities across Qatar, including its offshore operations, for all its employees and their families. Major Qatari companies including Qatar Airways, Al Jazeera, RasGas and Q Media also played a major role supporting the National Sports Day by organising ‘fun sports days’ for their staff and families.
The Qatar Football Association, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and Qatar Stars League hosted a special event named ‘Football Town’ on the Aspire football pitch which included football tournaments, beach football clinics hosted by Ramiro Amarelle, widely regarded as the world’s best beach football player, and an interactive fan zone where participants could test their football skills.
QOC General Secretary Sheikh Saoud bin Abdelrahman Al-Thani said:
“Today has been a fantastic day and we have seen a great response from public and private organisations to really get behind this important national initiative. It is great to see so many people, from young boys and girls to their grandparents, get involved and try new sports. The whole nation has really embraced Qatar’s first National Sports Day and it shows what can be achieved with vision and commitment.”
The Doha 2020 Bid Committee organised a 4K Fun Run at the Aspire Zone and its CEO Noora Al Mannai, added:
“It is wonderful to see so many people participate in the 4K race to celebrate National Sports Day. This initiative is all about inspiring and supporting change and getting more people actively engaged in sport, healthy lifestyles and bring communities together, and I think today is a great step to achieving this.” Qatar is one of the very few countries in the world to dedicate a specific day as a public holiday for the practice and promotion of sport.
As well as the National Sports Day, this month also sees Qatar host a number of high profile international sports events including the Qatar Total Open Women’s Tennis Championships [a WTA Premier Event], the Qatar Sailing Open Championships, the 16th International Junior Table-tennis Championships, the 2012 Qatar Fencing Grand Prix and the Qatar Masters [part of the European PGA Tour].
The Emiri Decree issued by the Heir Apparent and President of the Qatar Olympic Committee [QOC] HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani dedicated the second Tuesday of February each year as a public sports day.