Posted on February 11, 2016

Throughout the day on Tuesday 9th of February, the whole of Aspire Zone was transformed into a busy and bustling destination for participants in National Sports Day as huge crowds of people turned out to enjoy the celebrations and make the most of Aspire Zone Foundation’s world-class facilities and venues. 

The fifth edition of Aspire Zone Foundation’s National Sport Day activities was very well attended and positively received by all those who travelled to Aspire Park for the day. Friends, families and members of the local communities shared their satisfaction and were hugely positive about the wide ranging programme of activities which continued until late in the day.

Key figures from the NSD at Aspire Zone:

AZF team: 200

Volunteers: 147

Healthy meals served to the employees of the participating organisations: 4,000

Hours of operation: 34 hours

Security staff: 86

Ambulances: 5

  • Widely positive feedback reflects the huge success of the day

Large numbers of the local community participated in Aspire Zone Foundation’s National Sport Day activities and gave positive feedback on their participation in Aspire Zone activates. Here is some of these comments:

Mhanna Khalid Al Ghanim, an employee in the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, expressed his delight with the smooth running of activities at Aspire Zone, stating that his children were able to take part in football, the fun run and cycling events. Al Ghanim also thanked the State’s leadership for their efforts in supporting National Sport Day, which aims to promote a sports culture amongst the local community and encourage citizens and residents to lead fit and healthy lifestyles.

Ahmed Younis, one of the participants made the point that Sports Day is an opportunity for all those involved to be more physically active, not only on the day itself, but all-year round. He added that it is also a great opportunity to socialise and spend time with friends and family. Younis expressed hope that people would take advantage of the opportunities presented by the day to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Hidaya Dallol, a participant in one of the classes, described in very positive terms the smooth organisation and efficiency with which everything was managed. She described the day’s activities as being the perfect combination of exercise designed to encourage fitness and healthy living and activities that promoted positive behaviours and values including respect and fairness. Hidaya and her family were delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Aspire Zone to participate in this year’s celebrations.

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  • Aspire Dome packed with National Sport Day participants

Right the way across Aspire Park, Aspire Zone Foundation organised a huge range of activities in celebration of National Sports Day. At the Aspire Dome, these included a number that were especially suitable for family members of all ages including fitness exercises designed to increase people’s stamina, muscle strength and flexibility. Also taking place at Aspire Dome were a number of gymnastics and aerobics activities comprising part of Aspire’s Multi-Sport Skill Development programme.

Aspire Zone Foundation also organised a series of fun ‘Beat the Champion’ activities, giving participants the chance to see how they measure up against elite athletes. These included a 20-metre sprint test during which participants could test their speed against Olympic runner, Usain Bolt. Members of the community were also given the chance to test their ball throwing skills and to see how the speed with which they can pitch a ball compares to Major League American baseball players. Elsewhere, entrants were given the chance to test their vertical jump skills and see how these compare to world-renowned American NBA player, Michael Jordan. There was also a 200-metre fixed cycling race in which participants competed against members of their family for the best scores. At the end of each of these activities, participants received certificates for their participation along with their results.

  • Ministers express their delight with the widespread success of National Sport Day activities at Aspire Zone

From early morning, a number of Ministers and prominent figures visited Aspire Zone to participate in the many activities that took place. 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. 

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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.

Many of the organisations taking part in National Sport Day activities at Aspire Zone expressed their delight with the success of the day. Saad Al Kaabi, President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum said: “Participating in National Sport Day is an exceptional experience and we would like to extend our deep gratitude to His Highness the Emir for encouraging this activity. Everyone in Qatar participates in these National Sport Day activities to enjoy physical activity and exercise. Qatar Petroleum has chosen Aspire Zone Foundation as the focus for our activities for a number of years as a result of the Foundation’s unique position as a hub of sports facilities and venues, combined with its leading status as a sports and cultural destination for all”.

  • “Win Every Hour” with Aspire Zone Foundation

Eager to encourage people’s participation in its National Sport Day celebrations, Aspire Zone Foundation launched an interactive social media competition called “Win Every Hour with Aspire.” Participants who shared their pictures of the celebrations at Aspire on their social media accounts using the hashtag #NSDAspire, were given the opportunity to win a range of exciting prizes every hour. The contest proved very popular and #NSDAspire became one of the most popular trending hashtags on social media in Qatar during the day. 

  • Successful partnership with the media to achieve NSD goals

Following the success of last year’s event, AZF again organised a media centre designed to cater to the needs of various media outlets and journalists who attended the event to cover the development of a sports culture in Qatar and facilitate their coverage throughout Aspire Zone premises. The media centre, which was open for 12 hours starting from 7:30AM, hosted more than 50 journalists and media personnel from local and international outlets during the day.