Ooredoo and Save the Dream convened at Expo 2023 Doha the forum “The GameChangers: developing skills and promoting positive change through sport and its values”.
More than 200 youth leaders, many of them mobilised by the Qatar Youth Power association, had the opportunity to meet and learn from high-level representatives from leading organisations based in Doha such as Generation Amazing, Aspire Academy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Josoor Institute, Qatar Foundation, the Unesco Office for the Gulf States and Yemen in Doha, and the EU Delegation to Qatar, and be inspired by the stories and experiences of successful athletes like Nada Mohamed Wafa, Dual Olympian, London 2012 and Rio 2016; Ali Alobaidli, Qatar’s first World snooker champion; Mariam Farid, Runner, Member of Qatar’s National Team of Athletics; and Wejdan Majed al-Malki, Athlete, CDI5* Grand Prix Dressage.
The forum also featured Save the Dream ambassadors Honey Thaljieh, Public Relations Manager at FIFA, and President of the Qatar Boxing and Wrestling Federation (QBWF) Sheikh Fahad al-Thani.
Held on the eve of the Qatar National Sport Day, the event provided a unique opportunity for young people to understand the role of sport with regard to the development of transversal skills, promotion of societal values and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participants learnt about both volunteering and working opportunities in the sport industry and were engaged in a vibrant conversation on how to use the educational values of sport to build bridges and promote positive change.
The dialogue was structured around best practices, storytelling, and research findings related to youth empowerment through sports. Athletes shared their own experiences, reflecting on their journey of growth and success that defined their career and personal life.
Director of Public Relations at Ooredoo Qatar, Sabah Rabiah al-Kuwari, commented: “This event has highlighted the role of sport as a universal language of empowerment and positive change. Through our collaboration with Save the Dream and the involvement of Qatar’s vibrant youth and sporting community, we have helped to spotlight the invaluable lessons sport teaches us resilience, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence. As Ooredoo continues to champion these values, we remain committed to leveraging our platform to nurture young leaders and advocate for sport’s educational and societal benefits.”
CEO at Save the Dream Massimiliano Montanari said: “It was a very good day. First of all, we spent quality time with most of our key partners in Qatar. And it was great to make new friends, meeting amazing athletes and so many youth leaders. I hope we were able to give them some useful information, tips, and a bit of inspiration.”
Director of the Unesco Office for the Gulf States and Yemen, Salah Khaled, recalled that “every human being has a fundamental right of access to physical education and sport, which are essential for the full development of his personality” as stated in the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport (1978). Through its Fit for Life Flagship project, Unesco is advancing the sports agenda globally. Fit for Life is a framework for public and private smart investments in the transformative power of sport, to promote its tenfold human, social inclusion, educational, health and equity benefits.
Deputy Head of Mission at the Delegation of the European Union to Qatar Dr Angelos Lenos said: “We were extremely glad to be part of this inspiring event, which afforded us the opportunity to engage again with some of our local partners in sports diplomacy, and to reaffirm our strong commitment to collaborating with the local community in advancing the values championed by our sports diplomacy activities.”
Founder of Qatar Youth Power Natalie Magness said: “This event was testament to the power sport holds in bringing people together, transcending age, national, cultural, language, political and religious borders to unite and empower. The insights shared by the incredible speakers and the thought-provoking conversations were truly inspiring and a reminder that our world leaders must place a stronger emphasis on sport in alleviating conflict and peace-building as well as including youth in the processes and decision-making in these efforts. I am certain that the youth of Qatar have been empowered and inspired to get more involved in sport, from active participation to championing the values sport espouses such as compassion, team work, and equality.”
Executive Director of Generation Amazing Foundation Nasser Alkhori stated: “At the ‘The GameChangers’ forum, alongside Ooredoo and Save the Dream, we delved into the transformative power of sport, a cornerstone of Generation Amazing’s mission for youth empowerment. The forum was a vibrant showcase of how sport influences societal values and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals. Witnessing the passion of over 200 youth leaders and absorbing the powerful narratives of accomplished athletes only deepened our resolve. It’s clear: sport is more than just a game; it’s a dynamic force for fostering positive change, unity, and social development. Our collaboration at this event has further solidified our dedication to harnessing sport as a catalyst for empowering the next generation and driving meaningful societal progress.”
Director of Football Performance & Science, Aspire Academy, Valter Di Salvo said: “The forum showcased the pivotal role of sport. It can help young people grow in many ways. We talked about how sports teach important skills, build strong characters, and promote good values. It wasn’t just about celebrating sports skills; it was about showing how our youth are growing into people who can make a positive difference in the world championing societal values.”
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