IT CAN be said without doubt that the National Sports Day (NSD) symbolises the Qatar Olympic Committee’s (QOC) motto — Sport for All. The concept of dedicating a day itself is sublime and the sixth edition underlined its impact on the nation.
It looked Tuesday’s morning rains and chilly weather would prove a dampener, but it was not to be as people, in sports gears, moved to various venues and engaged in activities of their choice.
Aspire Zone, Katara cultural village and sports clubs turned arenas and offered public avenues for fun.
It was great to see ace yesteryear basketball player Yasseen Moussa teaching enthusiasts the nuances of the sport at a much-lively Katara, where former Qatar volleyball captain Saeed Juma, Al Gharafa footballer Fahad Al Shammari and many other sportspersons and officials turned up.
Men and women also waited in queues at the various tents set up to test their fitness and blood-sugar levels.
The Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yet again showed the way as he visited the Losail Shooting Range in the morning, encouraged children and tested his own skills.
The Father Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, along with QOC President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, visited the Al Shaqab Arena. HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani accompanied the Father Emir.
Sheikh Joaan said, “National Sports Day provides a unique opportunity to unite our nation through sport and share the Olympic spirit.
“It’s pleasing to see such a large number of people turning out with their families and friends to participate in the many activities across Qatar. This is more than just one day of sport. It’s about kick-starting a future of health, happiness and success. We hope the day’s festivities have inspired people of all ages and abilities to participate in regular activity at any level.”
QOC Secretary General Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari said the event was growing in stature after every year.
“I believe it’s getting better and better. You could see a lot of families this time. I think it’s because of the awareness we’ve created using our communication tools. We’re sure that the participation will only increase in the years to come,” Dr Al Kuwari told Doha Stadium Plus.
QOC Head of Media Hamad Al Obaidly said community members were increasingly engaging in various activities.
“A study conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports proved that the NSD had a telling impact on our people, and the number of people who practise sports or engage in health activities,” said Al Obaidly.
And the presence of so many families out there proved it right. It is Sport for All.