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DOHA: With this year’s edition of National Sport Day celebrations coming to an end, Qatari Olympians Aya Majdi and Nada Arkaji have expressed the support for the initiative. The teenagers were part of the group of four athletes that opened the country’s female Olympic account in London 2012.
Aya is considered Gulf regions’ top table tennis player, having swept all titles at the GCC championships and is looking forward to defending her title this season, as well as capturing the Arab title.
Nada’s ultimate goal is to continuously improve her personal best until the 2016 Olympic Games, where she aims to double her Olympic appearances and make the people of Qatar proud.
Nada was inspired and supported to follow sports by her father Mohamed Wafa Arkaji, a famous former football international goalkeeper. She tested herself in different sports until she finally realised that she was meant to be a swimmer.
Aya started playing table tennis at an early age. In the beginning she was interested in many sports but when a table tennis coach attempted to recruit young girls, she accepted his invitation and never looked back.
As a sports person Aya is fully supportive of the idea of the National Sport Day, an initiative adopted by the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“This initiative guides people to follow sports and encourages families to let their daughters join sports,” she said.
For Nada, “the National Sport Day creates awareness of the importance of a healthy life. From my side I am encouraging people, especially girls, to join swimming or any other sport, to feel the joyful atmosphere of a sporting community.
“Through sports I managed to enhance my confidence, to build a strong personality,” she added.
“My life has changed completely. I have been healthy and active; I met other people from various places. I train almost every day and I have realised that sports helped me in my studies as well,” she said.
“Be active and join any kind of sporting activities. You will become healthier and you will have fun” said Aya, while Nada added: “Don’t waste your time. Wear a track suit and start practicing now, no matter the sport. Even walking can make you mentally and physically healthier.”