The Qatar Football Association (QFA), Al Dawri & Al Kass Sport Channels and Qatar Shell celebrated National Sport Day with a World Cup-style football tournament at Aspire Zone. The highly anticipated event was opened by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, who came on to the main pitch to officially kick off the tournament.
Forty-eight teams, each representing a different nation, battled it out across eight pitches in the day long football tournament. Khalfan Ibrahim and Bilal Mohammed from Qatar’s National Football Team attended as honorary coaches and referees, spurring on the teams as well as running football clinics in a dedicated Fan Zone.
The football tournament is part of “Koora Time”, a five-year sustainable initiative designed to improve the health and wellbeing of Qatar’s youth through football. Koora Time supports the Social and Human Development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy (NDS) by engaging Qatar’s youth at every stage of their lives with football-themed programmes that are tailored to three age groups: 7 to 12 years, 13 to 17 years and 18-24 years.
Shortly after the final whistle, Saoud Al Mohannadi, Vice President, QFA; Khalid Al Kuwari, Marketing and Communications Director, QFA; and Rob Sherwin, General Manager Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman, Qatar Shell presented the Koora Time World Cup winner’s trophy to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Saoud Al Mohannadi, Vice President, QFA, said, “The players and their supporters fully immersed themselves in the World Cup spirit throughout the whole day. What a great way to celebrate one year since we kicked off this exciting initiative with our partner Qatar Shell. We are extremely proud of the initiative’s continued success and are excited to welcome Al Dawri & Al Kass Sport Channels to the Koora Time family.” He added: “National Sport Day is a step in the right direction to encourage greater participation in sport in Qatar, resulting in a healthier society. This football tournament is a clear demonstration of the QFA’s continued efforts to develop society by encouraging people to practice sports and adopt a healthy lifestyle, all with an aim to bring the Qatar National Vision 2030 to life.”
Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell companies, said, “Last year, the QFA and Qatar Shell launched the Koora Time initiative on National Sport Day in dramatic style, by breaking a Guinness World Record for the largest ever 5-a-side football match. The highly anticipated match ran continuously for 11 hours, 58 minutes and 12 seconds and was played by a total of 523 participants from all over Qatar. This year, to celebrate National Sport Day and to honour the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the partners created our own World Cup football tournament at Aspire Zone.” Wael Sawan of Qatar Shell added, “As the Koora Time initiative grows from strength to strength we are thrilled to welcome Al Dawri & Al Kass Sport Channels to the Koora Time team as we collectively strive to improve the health and wellbeing of Qatar’s youth through football.”
This year, the Koora Time World Cup featured an mPowering Action booth, which showcased an energy-harnessing football that generates light after 30 minutes of play. In December 2012, Shell became the founding corporate partner of mPowering Action, the world’s first movement and innovative mobile social good platform to unite good will organizations, corporate partners, the entertainment industry, and the United Nations community. Participants were elated to interact with the energy-harnessing football and compete in a Freestyle Juggling Competition, which enabled a relevant conversation around access to energy. Khalid Hamooshi and Abdulsalam Saleh both impressed with bold moves and tricks, and proudly took home a grand prize each, the energy-harnessing football.
National Sport Day was inaugurated in 2012 by HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to promote the importance of sport and physical activity in leading a healthy and active lifestyle. It is an official national holiday that is celebrated every second Tuesday of February. Ministries, government departments, public and private sector organisations and sports clubs are encouraged to run sporting activities for the general public.
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Ali Al Ansari
Hamad Al Kuwari