Thousands flock to Education City to enjoy activities designed for the whole community to enjoy
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, today attended Qatar Foundation’s National Sport Day celebrations, which brought together thousands of people from across the country to exercise, play sport, and learn about healthy living in an inclusive and welcoming environment.
The activities were also attended by Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation.
Machaille Al-Naimi, President of Community Development, Qatar Foundation, said: “At QF, our aim is to effect positive change in society, and we believe this can be done through education, sharing knowledge, and providing inclusive opportunities for everyone. This includes the chance to enjoy sport and physical activity, and to join together as a community in building a healthier, more active nation.
“Our National Sport Day celebrations reflect this commitment. Open to everyone, our activities aim to foster social engagement while showcasing the opportunities within Education City that people of all ages, cultures, backgrounds, abilities, and interests – can enjoy.
We are delighted to see how the community of Qatar have again got into the National Sport Day spirit at QF.
“We are delighted to see how the community of Qatar have again got into the National Sport Day spirit at QF, and we hope that what they have experienced and enjoyed today will encourage them to make our activities and programs that foster healthy, active lifestyles a regular part of their lives.”
The activities which took place at Education City included the QF Race across a 2km obstacle course, full-body workouts with top US gym Dogpound, and yoga sessions with Lululemon.
Hamad Al-Dosari, one of the participants in QF's activities on National Sport Day, said that Education City is the ideal destination. “This year, I wanted to participate once again in QF's events because they are well-organized and very diverse,” he said.
“Today, I participated in the QF Race for the second time. It’s a serious race and measures the competitors' abilities and endurance levels. This year, I did better than before, which made me very happy."
"This is a pretty neat concept," said Bob Kelly from Lincoln, Nebraska, who brought his wife and two children to the festivities in Education City. "I think more countries should try this. It gets people out doing physical activity. I would compare it to July 4 in America, which is a day when everyone goes out to the beach or the mountains."
A key focus of this year’s activities included offering a range of ability-friendly activities, with offerings, from football and goalball to chess.
Yasmeen Tebroon from Tunisia visited QF with her daughter Sarai, who is blind due to albinism in her eyes. She participated in the disability friendly games on the green spine, and Yasmeen said: “My daughter was thrilled to take part in these activities today.
The fact that such events are organized on such a large scale shows how inclusive QF is.
“The fact that such events are organized on such a large scale shows how inclusive QF is. Look at the turnout today, despite the wind. The number of people with different needs who have come here today clearly shows that they have come to associate QF with such initiatives.
“And we weren’t disappointed - she played football, she shot hoops. I’m just grateful to live in a country where the leadership makes people like my daughter feel included as much as those without any disability.”
Rashid Bakhit Al Marri, 12, also took part in the sports activities organized by QF and said: “National Sport Day is a very unique day for all community members. I wanted to spend the day at Education City, as I know that QF supports people with special needs, and organizes activities for our abilities.”
I am glad to be here at Education City with many athletes, and many members of the community who have come together to participate in these different activities.
Some of Qatar’s top names in sport also joined QF’s celebrations, including high-jumper Mutaz Barshim, who said: "I would like to extend my warmest greetings to Qatar Foundation for organizing these activities today. I am glad to be here at Education City with many athletes, and many members of the community who have come together to participate in these different activities.”
Footballer Abdulkarim Hassan said: “I am pleased to participate in Qatar Foundation’s National Sport Day activities, to reaffirm that sport is important throughout the year and not just today.
Every year, participation in sports activities is increasing across the community, in all events and activities at a national level.
Every year, participation in sports activities is increasing across the community, in all events and activities at a national level, and this reflects the truly positive impact that has been established with the government’s support.”
Swimmer Nada Arakji said: “I am very excited today for Qatar National Sport Day, it is an opportunity for everyone in the country Qatar to participate in sports, and it is such a great honor for me to be here in QF, especially as I am a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
“It is so nice to be back and I am honestly very excited for today – I hope everyone has fun and achieved what they come for today.”
Hurdler Mariam Farid, a student at QF partner university Northwestern University in Qatar, said: “It is great to be at Education City, not only as an athlete but also as a student.
“QF is part of my daily life, and it is an honor to be here today. We have huge opportunities and facilities here, and everyone is happy to be part of today’s activities. Sport is a lifestyle for everyone in Qatar, especially for women who include it within their daily routines, and this reflects the status of sport in Qatar and the way it has truly become a lifestyle.”
And taekwondo athlete Kaltham Al Mutawa said: “Sport has a major and important role in my life, and has helped me learn many things. I encourage all members of the community to exercise every day for at least 30 minutes, even just walking.
“I really hope that everyone enjoys sport, because it is really fun and full of benefits.”
Vodafone Qatar was the platinum sponsor of QF’s National Sport Day activities.