Posted on November 16, 2014

The third annual Maersk Oil & Qatar Petroleum Challenge (MOQP) came to a remarkable close this weekend, raising $110,000 for Action on Diabetes.

The Qatari corporate adventure race of the year saw more than 200 people, split into thirty teams from some of Qatar’s largest organisations compete over two exhilarating days at the stunning coastal location of Fuwerit. The event raised money for Action on Diabetes (AOD), a public-private partnership which aims to help raise awareness of diabetes, assist those at risk to avoid it and help people already living with the condition better manage their health.

The two day challenge saw teams complete five demanding stages with an overnight stay in the desert. For the first time, challenges included both mountain biking and kayaking,as well as orienteering by GPS, completing construction projects, navigating in the desert at night and solving challenging team problems to promote problem solving and develop team skills. All activities in this year’s MOQP challenge were themed around diabetes and promoted healthy lifestyles, demonstrating the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a balanced diet and stopping smoking. Each team started the competition with a Health Check score of zero, and were challenged to raise Health Points (HP) throughout all five stages of the competition, which was designed to raise awareness of the risks of Type 2 diabetes throughout each stage and educate teams about causes, symptoms and prevention methods of the condition.

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After two days of intense competition, Schlumberger’s, ‘The Blue Expendables’ team were crowned the overall winners of this year’s desert challenge with the highest number of Health Points, beating off stiff competition from Maersk Oil Qatar's, ‘The Navigators’, who won the ‘Best Male Team’ and Texas A&M University Qatar team, ‘The TAMUQ’ who won the ‘Best Team Spirit’ category.

Lewis Affleck, Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar said: “This year’s MOQP Challenge looked as tough as ever and everybody who participated should be proud of what they have achieved while learning about Diabetes. This condition is one of the most prevalent health challenges in Qatar so, more so than ever, it is important to support fun and engaging events like this to raise awareness about the risks associated with Diabetes and the best way to prevent its development. Challenges like this also show how beneficial the development of skills such as leadership and teamwork can be, and it’s an added bonus to combine this training with education about diabetes. Maersk is committed both to the development of Qatar’s future leaders and bringing meaningful benefits to the State of Qatar, so this was the perfect cause for us to support. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our partner, QP, and are proud of the significant achievements of the Action on Diabetes partnership.”

Abdulla Al-Hamaq, Executive director of the Qatar Diabetes Association said, Diabetes is on the rise all over the world and countries are struggling to keep pace. IDF’s most recent estimates indicate that 382 million people have diabetes, If current demographic patterns continue , the number of people with the disease is set to rise beyond 592 million in less than 25 years.  As per  “Qatar Stepwise Report 2012” , The overall prevalence of diabetes mellitus among adult Qatari population is  (16.7%)"

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He added "With this in mind, the MOQP challenge importantly helps to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications, presenting a unique opportunity to reach people in our community in a new, engaging way. It was brilliant to see corporate teams from both the private and public sectors – competing in a fun, yet competitive environment and most importantly raising money to fight diabetes. I am thrilled that $110,000 has been raised to fund the 14th Al Bawasil Camp for children with diabetes, because the work they do there really helps children living with diabetes to reach their full potential. I would like to congratulate all who were involved in organising such an important event.”

The MOQP Challenge is held annually to coincide with “World Diabetes Day,” which is celebrated every year on the 14th of November. Each participating team made a donation of $5,000 to take part in the event, raising a total of USD $110,000 for Action on Diabetes. The money raised this year will again be used to fund the Al Bawasil Camp, which hosts diabetic children from Qatar and the region to educate them about managing diabetes.