More than 50 top public figures pedal power-generating stationary bikes to illuminate the Torch Doha Hotel yesterday, marking the start of Aspire Zone Foundation’s National Sport Day celebrations. (Shaival Dalal)
DOHA: Qatar marks its third and biggest National Sport Day (NSD) celebration today with a plethora of events geared toward the promotion of sport culture, health and wellness among citizens and expatriates alike.
After the long preparations, government and private entities are coming together today to host events to raise awareness among employees and their families on the importance of staying fit and healthy through sports.
The event counter at the National Sport Day website says there are 251 National Sport Day, 280 community and 85 professional events during the week-long celebrations. They comprise sport competitions, clinics and demos; health awareness campaigns and free health check-ups among others.
The events are held at main venues including Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Sport Zone, the Corniche, Aspire, The Pearl Qatar, Souq Waqif and Katara as well as in parks, malls, sports clubs, stadiums, ministries, federations and schools.
As in the previous editions of the annual public holiday, thousands are expected to join the Sport Walk morning on the Corniche. The walk will start at 9am at the Orry statue and continue to Sheraton Park. From 7am till 5pm, the Corniche will also see the Al Shawahef traditional rowing championship wherein 10 teams will compete for prizes which total to QR4m.
Since it opened on Thursday, the QOC Sport Zone, the main hub of NSD, has witnessed thousands of visitors partaking in free sport clinics and health awareness campaigns. Registration for the Be Fit competition will also be held today at the sport zone which is open from 8am to 10pm.
Yesterday, Aspire Zone’s NSD celebration opened in a unique and creative way as 50 Qatari athletes and senior public officials pedalled using energy generating stationary bikes to light up the façade of the Torch Doha Hotel. Today, Aspire Zone would be busy with lots of sports and sports-related activities organised by Aspire Zone Foundation along with 23 companies.
At Katara, 83 fun and engaging sport and health awareness events are taking place spread around the Cultural Village.
The events, which run from 7am to 3am the following day, are being organised in cooperation with government and private institutions.
Education City will also be abuzz with NSD events as Qatar Foundation hosts activities at six venues, including Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Awsaj Recreation Centre, Community Venue, Recreation Centre, Al Shaqab and Cricket Ground.
Other companies are having their own way to celebrate the day, some of which go an extra mile such as Qatar Petrochemical Company and Qatofin which are not only organising sports events for their over 4,000 employees and families but attempting to break the Guinness World Records for ‘the most consecutive football passes’ set 12 years ago in Hong Kong.