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Qatar: 2nd annual Schools Olympic Day launched

2008-10-20

Recently, the organising committee of the Schools Olympic Day (SOD) has successfully launched the second edition of SOD competitions at Doha Sheraton Hotel, under the motto of "Sport and Environment". The motto reflects the outstanding relationship that links sport with the environment, where human beings in general and athletes in particular should not be subjected to living in a polluted environment.

The first annual SOD in 2007 was widely celebrated as an outstanding success, where it received an overwhelmingly response from locals and residents who interacted with different activities and events. More than 70,000 students affiliated to different government, independent, private schools alongside foreign community schools took part in the competitions of the first annual SOD held under the motto "Sport for Health". 

The second annual SOD is expected to be an even greater hit than the previous year, in large part due to the exhaustive efforts of the SOD organizers, the Qatar Olympic Committee, Ministry of Education, Supreme Council of Education, Ministry of the Environment, and Environment Friends Centre. Prior to the launch of the second annual SOD competitions, chairman of the SOD's organising committee, HE Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani commented "I have tapped a real desire and determination amongst our students to be a part of the upcoming Schools Olympic Day," and added that, "there has been a great response from all schools who declared their readiness to compete in the event."

His Excellency praised the efforts exerted by the organizers in attempt to secure a tangible success for the event, and confirmed that the program's vision aims to encourage the young generation to get involved in sport and adopt a healthy life style. Sheikh Saoud called on all community members to get involved with the SOD program which aims to consolidate Olympic values while simultaneously increasing the spirit of friendship, respect and fair play. 

He also hailed efforts of all teachers, education and teaching staff in qualifying, training and encouraging students to take part in the program. Communities worldwide have stressed the importance of the environment in our daily life. Overall human health correlates closely with the well being of the environment, which makes the well-being of both inextricably linked. 

A core value of the Olympic movement is, in fact, maintaining a healthy environment. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) study on the interaction between sport and environment has set a new criterion for the Olympic movement called "the third pile". Their findings have elevated the environment alongside sport and culture collectively to represent a main dimension for Olympism.

The findings have also motivated the IOC to go to great lengths in order to ensure a healthy environment for future athletes. Under the motto "Sport for the Environment", the second annual SOD will reinforce the country's efforts to protect the environment and encourage a healthy dialogue of environmental concepts in conformity with the QOC's overall strategy.  

Introduction to Schools Olympic Day

The purpose: The Schools Olympic Day event was conceived as part of the "Sport for All" programme to increase interest in Olympism among children especially school students. The vision of the Schools Olympic Day is to inspire young people in Qatar to participate in sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle. While dedicated to the youth, this event balances sport, education and culture and aims to educate, engage and influence young athletes, while motivating them to play an active role in the local community. 

The main objectives of the Schools Olympic Day are to: 

  • Bring together and celebrate Qatar's best young school athletes
  • Propose a unique and powerful introduction to Olympism
  • Innovate in educating and debating sporting values and societal challenges
  • Share and celebrate the cultures of Qatar in a festive atmosphere
  • Reach youth communities throughout Qatar to promote Olympic values
  • Raise sport awareness and participation among the youth
  • Act as a platform for initiatives within the Olympic Movement
  • Organise an event of the highest national standards

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