By Sports Reporter/ Doha
The Qatar Olympic Academy yesterday held a seminar titled “Education and Development of the Olympic Movement” on the sidelines of the First ANOC World Beach Games currently being hosted by Qatar. Speakers at the seminar dwelt on the role of the Olympic movement in the development of people, the importance of women’s participation in the Olympics as well as the reasons for the competition between countries to host the Olympic Games, among other topics.
The seminar was addressed by prominent figures, led by HE the Assistant Chief of the Amiri Diwan Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Secretary-General of the Qatar Olympic Committee Jassim Rashid al-Buainain, ANOC Secretary-General Gunilla Lindberg, Executive Director of the Asian Olympic Council Hussain al-Musallam, Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations at the International Olympic Committee James Macleod, President of the International Olympic Academy, Isidoros Kouvelos and Executive Director of the Qatar Olympic Academy Saif Mohamed al-Nuaimi.
Al-Buainain quoted the famous words of the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin: “For each individual, sport is a possible source for inner improvement,” saying this is what the Qatar Olympic Academy seeks to achieve.
“What better way to build the educational foundation for self-improvement through major institutions such as the Olympic Academies. Over the past two decades, Qatar has evolved into a major sports centre in the region and the world. This has helped bring major sporting events to the Middle East for the first time, inspiring younger generations. These events also created opportunities to demonstrate the power of sport to excite and educate young people,” stressed al-Buainain.
He explained that by hosting high-level sporting events Qatar gained considerable experience and knowledge and created new standards, but more importantly lasting legacies were built. He gave the example of Qatar’s pioneering Schools Olympic Program which helped Qatar establish a solid foundation of sport in the country after it was introduced in 2007, drawing inspiration from the 2006 Asian Games. “The Schools Olympic Program became a beacon for the development of sport in the region,” he said.
“The QOC is more than ever determined to inspire, connect and excite communities through the power of sport, which has the potential to bridge cultures and foster friendships among the peoples of the world. This cannot be achieved without the great support of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani,” he said.
On his part, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman said, “Hosting of the 2006 Asian Games put Qatar on the global map.”
He expressed his delight at participating in the seminar, stressing that he has been involved with the Qatari Olympic Movement for a long time.
He said that Qatar has succeeded in laying the foundation stone for organising sports events since the hosting of the 15th Asian Games (2006), pointing out that this resulted in the establishment of the Aspire Academy, which has now become a beacon for aspiring athletes.
He also praised the great role played by the Qatar Olympic Academy, pointing out that there must be a strategy that is always linked to the aspirations of the State, and perhaps the organisation of the Asian Games encouraged us to host many world championships and other important sporting events.
He highlighted that Qatar has succeeded in establishing many sports facilities, including the anti-doping laboratory, which is the first such lab in the Middle East.
Hussain al-Musallam, Executive Director of the Asian Olympic Council, congratulated Qatar on hosting the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in a very short period of time, which he said indicates the ability of Qataris to host any continental or international tournament. “Sporting events leave a legacy for host countries and therefore we have to teach young people and future generations the value of the Olympic Movement in the development of people,” he said.
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