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Children compete in a tug-of-war on the beach at Katara yesterday. Below: Cycling enthusiasts try their skills at Katara.
By Azmat Haroon
Doha: Thousands came to Katara yesterday to mark the National Sport Day.
With more than 25 activity booths, including basketball, handball, sailing, boxing, tennis, wresting and chess, among others, set up by the national sports federation, many families participated in multiple sports events.
Some people also participated in sports they had so far only seen on television.
Crowds started pouring in early morning for a session of yoga at the Katara beach, followed by the ‘fun run’, which kick-started the activities.
The canoeing practice sessions held by the Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation attracted many youngsters.
Some visitors said they could not get a turn because of the large crowds waiting in line.
“This is the first time that I’m seeing this sport,” said 19-year-old Abdullah Ahmed.
“It looks a little dangerous but I really want to try it.”
Near the underground parking area at Katara, many others waited for their turns to borrow bicycles.
“We started at about 11am and in less than three hours, we distributed more than 600 bicycles,” said an official from the Qatar Cycling Federation.
Avid fans of basketball participated in 3x3 events organised by Qatar Basketball Federation.
Non-stop handball action was seen at the mini-court and fun goal set up by the National Handball Federation.
There were also people who did not actually participate in any sport activity but came to Katara to spend some time with their family or friends.
“Luckily, the weather is very nice today. The beach is perfect for a little picnic with family,” said a visitor.
The beach soccer and beach volleyball were two of the loudest, if not the most crowded, booths at the venue.
The Chess Federation also hosted games.
Other sports included table tennis, golf, rowing, climbing, boxing, among other activities, offered by Ihssan, Enterprise Qatar, and Anti-Doping Lab Qatar.
“Following the success of last year’s National Sport Day, Katara was delighted to host a number of exciting activities for the second time,” Dr Khalid Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara, said.
“Offering a variety of sports for the general public, designed to cater to different demographics, we have witnessed a big success this year and hope to host an even larger one next year in an effort to see more families enjoy events at Katara,” he said.
A number of sporting activities at Katara were offered by companies such as Primary Health Care Corporation, Kahrama, Hamad Hospital, Enterprise Qatar, Qatar National Anti-Doping Commission, Qatar Insurance Company, Ihssan and Wellness Centre.