Posted on February 10, 2016

Thousands of sports enthusiasts and families from across Qatar this morning travelled to Aspire Park to take part in the country’s largest National Sport Day celebrations. The event marked the culmination of months of planning with a programme carefully designed to take full advantage of Aspire’s world-class venues and facilities and provide visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience.

Acting CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation joins the Minister of Sport and Culture to launch the Fun Run race

From early morning, huge crowds of people registered to take part in the Fun Run – one of the major events of day – which took place between 9:00AM to 11:00AM. Open to all members of the community, the Fun Run course covered a distance of 3 kilometres, starting close to Aspire Dome and taking in a route that included a number of Aspire Zone’s main venues and landmarks.

Commenting on the day’s activities, Mr. Mohammad Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, Acting CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation, said: “Aspire Zone Foundation was fortunate today to receive visits from a number of Ministers and officials, and we thank their Excellencies for joining us to celebrate National Sport Day. Their involvement and participation is further evidence of Aspire’s status as the premier destination for sports events in Qatar.” He added: “AZF has been hosting such celebrations since National Sport Day was first launched in Qatar in 2011. As one of the country’s leading sports organisations, we are proud to have played our part in contributing to its success during this time. We’re delighted with the turn out today, which provides real evidence of the appetite amongst the community and local residents for events like these. At Aspire Zone Foundation, we are committed to organising community activities around the year that aim to support healthy lifestyles. As a centrepiece of our efforts, National Sport Day is a key opportunity for us to showcase the variety of our activities and Aspire’s well-equipped, world-class facilities, as well as our capabilities as an organisation in hosting such mega events.”

Asked about his experience on the day, a local resident explained that he has been regularly coming to National Sport Day activities at Aspire every year, adding that the number of participants this year has noticeably increased compared with previous years. He also pointed to the unique atmosphere around Aspire Zone and expressed his gratitude for all that was being done to support members of the community in leading healthy lives, including families and children.

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Five ministers join members of the community to celebrate National Sport Day at Aspire Zone

A number of Ministers visited Aspire Park this morning to take in the celebrations. These included HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sport; HE Dr Mohammed Saleh Al Sada- Minister of Energy and Industry; HE Dr Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, Minister of Development Planning and Statistics; HE Dr. Hassan Lahdan Al-Mohannadi, Minister of Justice; and HE Dr Hanan Al Kuwari- Minister of Public Health. They were joined by a number of senior dignitaries and officials from both the public and private sector.

Visiting Aspire Park and meeting senior leaders from Aspire Zone Foundation gave the Ministers and opportunity to learn more about how the organisation is using National Sport Day to showcase its year-long programmes. It also gave them the opportunity to better understand the organisation’s capabilities to host mega events. Aspire Zone Foundation has made full use of its resources and expertise to make the fifth annual edition of its National Sport Day celebrations a major success.

Visiting Ministers praise successful organisation of Aspire Zone Foundation’s National Sport Day activities, and encourage all members of the community to lead active, healthy lifestyles

The Minister of Public Health, HE Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, attended the start of the 5,000 Steps walk-a-thon at Aspire Park for National Sport Day 2016. HE the Minister commented on the large numbers of people that had travelled to Aspire for the day and praised the organisers for the wide variety of activities taking place in Aspire Zone, with something on offer for everyone regardless of age or level of fitness. She highlighted the importance of fitness and sport in supporting a healthy lifestyle and in preventing many diseases including heart conditions and diabetes. HE the Minister encouraged all members of the community to take advantage of the opportunity provided by National Sport Day to adopt positive behaviour and lead a healthy life, and to make sport and physical activity part of their regular routine – both today, during the rest of the year and beyond.

HE Hassan Lahdan Al Mohannadi, Minister of Justice also described how impressed he was with the National Sport Day celebrations at Aspire Park as he attended the Ministry’s official activities. He drew attention to how happy employees, citizens and residents all seemed to be to take part in the day’s events and activities, and expressed satisfaction at the joint events that the Ministry of Justice had had organised alongside the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. HE wished everyone involved an enjoyable day and called on all attendees to continue taking part in sports activities once National Sport Day was over.  

Elsewhere, HE Dr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics said that National Sport Day had achieved its goals by encouraging people to exercise more and through spreading greater awareness and understanding of healthy lifestyles. He also stressed how sport plays an important role in supporting physical and mental health and encouraged everyone to exercise in order to be more productive. He emphasised how National Sport Day is a key opportunity to encourage people to stay fit and healthy all year round.

HE Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada. Minister of Energy and Industry described his pride at seeing members of the community – both individuals and families – participating in National Sport Day in this way. He highlighted the significance and importance of the day and pointed to the way it has grown and developed over the years. In particular, His Excellency commented during his visit to the warm up field in Aspire Zone how impressed he was with the number of participants at this year’s event and wished everyone taking part an enjoyable day.

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With the Family Biking activity, a fun-filled family atmosphere pervades the park

Following its huge success last year, the Family Biking activity returned for a second time this year. Taking place on the cycling track around Aspire Park, the activity started at 8:00AM with many families lining up to take part. Those involved were able to ride around the precinct on either a four-seater bike for families or single bike for individuals. Questioned about what made celebrations at Aspire Zone so special, a parent participating in the bike ride explained that for him it was the family-oriented focus, and a programme of activities that reflects both local traditions and values. He noted the particular emphasis by Aspire Zone Foundation in encouraging families to adopt healthy lifestyles and practice fitness and sports as part of their regular routine.

Parents and children make the most of the joy of Sports Day

Building on its commitment to promote a sports culture amongst young people in Qatar, Aspire Zone Foundation this year laid on a number of children’s activities including wall climbing and judo, which was available for the first time. A large number of people visited the wall climbing station behind the Grand Heritage hotel. Children took part in sessions under the watchful eye and close supervision of expert trainers who taught them the basics of climbing skills and how to apply their strength.

Large numbers of children aged 8-12 also participated in judo training, which enabled them to learn basic skills under the supervision of specialist instructors. Qatar is the first country in the region to have a dedicated national holiday designed to encourage participation in sports. The National Sport Day is indicative of Qatar’s ambitions to support the health and wellbeing of its citizens, as envisaged through the human development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

All sports enthusiasts and members of the community interested in learning about Aspire Zone’s ongoing sports activities can find full details through the “Life in Aspire” mobile app, www.aspirezone.qa – or any of the Aspire Zone Foundation’s various social media channels.

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