Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), today attended QF’s National Sport Day celebrations at Education City, which welcomed the public with the aim of encouraging people to embrace sport and adopt healthy, active lifestyles.
The National Sport Day activities at QF were also attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation; His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee; His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani; Mr. Robert Skinner, Executive Director, United Nations Office for Partnerships; US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad; and US Olympic swimmer Conor Dwyer, as well as members of the wider community.
Sporting events and activities catering to all ages and interests took place in four locations – Oxygen Park, the Ceremonial Court, the Ceremonial Green Spine, and Multaqa (Education City Student Center). The celebrations officially began with the Qatar Cyclists Tour, spanning a 20km route that began and ended at QF.
Mr. Skinner said: “I’ve been involved, and am familiar, with Qatar Foundation’s work in education and in helping address international goals, such as education, in a sustainable way. This is the first time I’ve participated in Qatar’s and QF’s National Sport Day activities, and I’m amazed at the response.
“To be successful on the international stage, a country has to address the Sustainable Development Goals at grassroots level, and QF is certainly helping to contribute to this. Sport, health, and lifestyle choices are sustainable goals of any country, and today I can see that QF’s message has reached the local audience in Qatar – the response I see is great.”
A new addition to QF’s National Sport Day celebrations was an obstacle course called the QF Race. Featuring 17 different challenges across more than 2km in Oxygen Park, the event was designed to put visitors’ speed, agility, stamina, and determination to the test. A smaller-scale obstacle course tailored for younger participants – the QF Mini Track – was also on offer.
Mohammed Al-Hajri, who was among the participants, said: “I really enjoyed Qatar Foundation’s activities, especially the QF Race at Oxygen Park. I quickly realized that the race wasn’t easy – the course was challenging, and it required a lot of determination and strength to complete. It tested me, and revealed my weak points.
“The activities happening around Education City today are amazing. They are very engaging – catering for individuals and families – and demonstrate how sport has the ability to bring people together.”
Rinad Abdulla, another visitor, said: “My family decided to join Qatar Foundation’s National Sport Day celebrations after learning about what was on offer. We came to Education City early in the morning and headed straight to Ceremonial Green Spine, where my son competed in the QF Mini Track. I really enjoyed watching him take part in the competition, and having fun.”
“My son also had the chance to participate in Qatar Diabetes Association’s events that took place in the same place. It was very exciting, competitive, and included a variety of fun games, such as the Turtle Race and the Kangaroo Sack Race. The activities were diverse, and my son really enjoyed his whole day – he didn’t want to leave.”
Other highlights included workouts run by the Dogpound – one of New York City’s most high-profile gyms – high-intensity interval training sessions hosted by Qatar-based gym F45, spinning classes organized by Ride Tribe, combination boxing and fitness training provided by BeatBox, and wellness instruction offered by Vishnu Yoga.
QF’s popular Torba Farmers Market was also open during the day, bringing the best in organically-grown produce, locally-prepared food and beverages, and sustainable products to the public. Maryam Al Mansouri, another visitor, said: “The market was a highlight for me. A range of healthy meals, vegetables, and fruit were on offer, as well as different food vendors, who made sure to use environmentally-friendly containers to store their products.
“It was great to see so many events specifically designed for women, such as yoga sessions and fitness classes. This encouraged me to take part, along with my friends, and we enjoyed the community atmosphere.”
Vodafone Qatar was the Platinum Sponsor of QF’s National Sport Day 2019 events, with Sidra Medicine – a QF member – being the Silver Sponsor.