University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST) opened its inaugural GCC Universities Sport and Wellness Symposium Sunday.
The three-day event brings together senior university sport and wellness leaders, national and international sport federation representatives, government officials, sport experts and university students from across the region.
The conference aims to promote growth and foster collaboration for regional student sport opportunities while exploring the importance of wellness in student setting. The symposium is organised by UDST’s Sport and Wellness Department, with the support of active event partners Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire and the Qatar Collegiate Sport Federation (QCSF).
The symposium commenced with opening remarks by Dr Salem Al-Naemi, president of UDST, followed by Dr Ibrahim Saleh al-Naimi, president of QCSF and the undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Leonz Eder, president of FISU and president of the Swiss University Sports Foundation.
Dr Ibrahim al-Naimi, said: “This symposium, is not just fostering sport and wellness in the educational settings, but also nurturing the holistic wellbeing of our youth. Integrating sports into our educational fabric ensures that physical wellness and academic achievement go hand in hand. We are pleased with the participation of many high-level delegations from the GCC which underscores the importance of collaboration in building healthier, more vibrant university communities across the region.”
Dr Salem Al-Naemi, explained: “UDST, in alignment with Qatar National Vision 2030 that embraces sports as a crucial tool for growth and wellbeing, hosts this event, underscoring Qatar's dedication as a passionate sporting nation. The integration of exercise and wellness into education institutions is essential, and a large part of how our university cultivates well-rounded individuals who thrive in both academic and extracurricular domains.”
“This event promises to provide a dynamic platform for meaningful discussions on pivotal subjects, including the significance of University Sports within the Gulf region and the myriad benefits of health and wellbeing through sports engagement in higher education. The topics under consideration, spanning sports competition to the crucial role of Healthy Campus programmes in fostering the holistic development of students, will not only strengthen our collective bonds but also leave a legacy that will serve the entire higher education community,” noted Eder.
The official theme of the conference is “Towards a Vision of Collaboration and Growth”, with principal focus on exploring collaborative hosting and competition opportunities across the region, productive discussions on the growth of elite sport within the university sector, and the establishment of a multinational network committed to increasing inter-university sport and wellness initiatives across the GCC.
“There are over 100 post-secondary institutions already participating in the FISU programme, as we are. We hope to inspire more universities to join this transformational wellness initiative, which would elevate the quality of individual university sports for everyone. The GCC region in particular is witnessing a significant shift in the role of higher education institutions in sports development,” added, Tony Martin, manager, Sport and Wellness, UDST.
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