It was a National Sport Day (NSD) 2021 with a difference as people around Qatar celebrated the occasion Tuesday by observing Covid-19 precautionary and preventive measures.
While group activities were not allowed and several other measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, the public - including both citizens and residents - kept the spirit of the day alive by taking part in various safe outdoor events and an array of online activities organised by different entities.
Based on last week's Cabinet decision regarding the plan to reimpose some Covid-19 restrictions in Qatar , the Sport Day committee had recently announced that all NSD activities this year would be individual disciplines only, such as running/jogging, swimming and cycling.
Contact sports that required physical contact between players were prohibited, for example football matches. Also, all sporting activities had to be conducted entirely in outdoor settings and individually and indoor activities were prohibited.
People were also advised to strictly maintain a safe distance of at least 3m during a sports activity. Face masks had to be worn at all times except during the sporting activity itself.
Tuesday, people were seen complying with these - and other measures as they turned up at popular places such as the Doha Corniche, various parks, Aspire Zone, Katara - the Cultural Village and other open areas.
A large number of people took to cycling as this was one of the safest options in the prevailing circumstances, in addition to being a highly effective activity in terms of fitness and wellbeing.
Others were seen running, jogging, roller skating or simply walking, while some used the open spaces and green areas to exercise.
Besides these safe outdoor activities, a number of online sporting events were also held Tuesday in view of the Covid-19 situation.
In a statement published by QNA, HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanim al-Ali said NSD is a pioneering initiative at the global level, adding that it is based on the wise leadership's view regarding the status of sport in societies and its belief in the importance of investing in people.
Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) celebrated the 10th edition of National Sport Day virtually, in line with the Covid-19 precautionary measures imposed in the country.
QOC encouraged all segments of society to get in touch via social media. The committee's sports day programme included a number of events that aimed to raise awareness on the importance of leading an active life, QNA reported.
A number of Qatari players who qualified for the summer Olympics stressed the importance of raising awareness on the importance of sports. High jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim said NSD, on its 10th anniversary, helped raise awareness of the importance of practising sports.
There was a live broadcast of sports activities on the social media channels of the Qatar Sports for All Federation, offering exercises and healthy tips for different categories and age groups.
Qatar Foundation also celebrated NSD in virtual form. Online fitness classes, sessions that showcased ability-friendly sporting opportunities and inspirational talks encouraged all members of Qatar’s community to embrace physical activity as the route to a healthy and happy lifestyle on the day when the nation celebrates the benefits and the joy of sport.
On its part, Qatar University celebrated the occasion under the slogan 'Sport Unites Us' virtually via the Webex platform as part of the coronavirus precautionary measures.
A number of banks and other corporate entities also organised online activities for their employees.