Doha Goals to begin next week

December 03, 2013 - 6:16:24 am
Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak Al Thani (right), Executive Director of Doha Goals and Richard Attias, Executive Producer, Doha Goals during a press conference at Aspire Doha yesterday.   Picture by: Kammutty VP

Doha:  Six-time Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker and athletics legend Michael Johnson will constitute a diverse group of people who will be attending this year’s Doha Goals, it was announced here yesterday. 

Held under the high patronage of The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,  Doha Goals, the world’s leading platform focusing on sport as a driver of social and economic change, will hold its second edition on December 9 to 11 at the Aspire Dome here. 

Doha Goals is a call to action for policymakers, NGOs, corporations and athletes alike. 

Addressing a press conference yesterday at Aspire Dome Sheikh Faisal bin Mubarak AI Thani, Executive Director of Doha Goals, said: “The diverse group of people - as speakers, partners, participants, students, and community members - creates a unique forum for this initiative. 

“By bringing together this cross-section of interested parties, from heads of government through to federations and NGOs, we have the opportunity to have real dialogue and bring about real change.”  

Executive Producer of Doha Goals Richard Attias said sport is increasingly a major area of focus for some of the world’s biggest brands, for whom sport is now an integral part of their marketing and communications agenda. 

“Rather than acting as a conference - where ideas are traded but rarely enacted - Doha Goals is an initiative with the express intent of empowering stakeholders to create a roadmap for social improvement through sport, and launch cross-border initiatives,” Attias said. 

Following the first edition of Doha Goals, a number of initiatives were selected for feasibility studies and will be launched at the official opening of Doha Goals on December 10, it was announced. 

Among the many sporting champions already confirmed as speakers for this year’s forum are: Hamza Abdullah, National Football League player, formerly of Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hou Bin, triple paralympic champion in high jump from China, Ato Boldon, former world champion sprinter, and former Senator of Trinidad and Tobago,  Nadia Comaneci, triple Olympic champion in gymnastics from Romania, Bart Conner, Olympic champion gymnast from USA. 

The list also includes Moroccon Hicham El Guerrouj, world record holder in 1,500m, 1,600m and outdoor 2000m,   Tony Hawk, a 12-time world champion skateboarder and founder of Tony Hawk Foundation, Kelly Holmes, double Olympic champion 1500m and 800m and Founder of DKH Legacy Trust, UK, Wilson Kipketer, world record-holder and champion middle-distance runner from Denmark, Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA player of Houston Rockets and Hasim Rahman, double world champion heavyweight boxer from USA. 

Besides international sports stars, others who will be in Qatar for the meet include the heads of government, general secretaries and presidents of the world’s major sporting federations, NGOs, civil society groups.

Meanwhile, the Ministers of Sport Summit will take place on the first day of the global forum with sports ministers from more than 20 countries, including South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Italy taking part.

Attais said some key topics which the sports ministers summit will address are: “How can sport be utilised for the development of societies and economies? How can we broaden access and opportunity in sport so that everyone can enjoy its benefits? How can we protect the integrity of sports from abuses such as doping and corruption,” Attias said. 

The special sports ministers summit will seek to establish Doha Goals as the world’s first annual forum for policy makers and ministers responsible for sports policy to come together and build a worldwide sports agenda, and a platform on which to share it with the global sporting community.

“The rapid globalisation of sports and the advent of truly global sporting competitions have threatened to outpace the development of sports policy. Thus, Doha Goals is committed to bringing together sports ministers from across the world to develop their understanding of the new challenges and opportunities in this world of globalised sport,” according to Doha Goals website.

Representatives from some of the world’s biggest brands will also be attending the meet in the Qatari capital. 

The deliberations and outcomes from the discussions will be combined with the outcomes of the Doha Goals taskforces to create a set of global challenges and action plans for the leading global policy makers in sport to develop and implement throughout 2014. 

The agenda will then provide the basis for global coordination to ensure that athletes, people, governments, business and civic society fulfill the potential of our new world of globalised sport.

The inaugural Doha Goals forum brought together more than 2,000 participants from 60 countries including 400 international students and 400 Qatari students. 

Speakers at Doha Goals 2012 included President of FIFA Sepp Blatter and Lord Coe, chairman of the organising committee of London 2012, as well as sporting champions such as multi-Olympic gold medalists Ian Thorpe and Carl Lewis.

Registration for local residents begin on December 8 from 9.00am onwards.The Peninsula

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