The Aspire Zone Foundation’s (AZF) National Sport Day celebrations started in spectacular style on Monday night when a collection of top Qatari athletes and senior public officials used the power of cycling to light up the Torch Hotel.
In an event attended by hundreds of people, the sportsmen and officials joined forces to pedal 50 stationary bikes for just over half an hour – generating enough electricity to bring the torch to life. The ‘Torch-lighting’ acted as the opening event for AZF’s celebrations for National Sports Day on Tuesday and aimed to demonstrate the power of sport to electricity and energize individuals. Participants in the event included Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Issa Hilal Al Kuwari, President of Qatar Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) representing Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry.
The CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation, Khalid Abdullah Al Sulaiteen, also participated alongside other officials and athletes from the Qatar Stars League – including senior members of the national Qatari football team. Praising the event, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz al Kuwari said: “Starting the National Sports Day celebration with the lighting of the Torch Hotel was a very creative and unique idea. “I believe it sends the public a message that the real value of sports lies in its ability to lighten many things in the life of people – not just the Torch Hotel. “I expect tomorrow a huge public turnout and large crowds of sports fans and all venues, pitches and facilities in Aspire will be a huge torch of activity,” he added.
The ‘Torch Lighting’ event on Monday was a simple and visual demonstration of how Qatar’s leadership is powering and encouraging healthy lifestyle changes in the local community. Qatar’s officials put on a united display to show how the exertion of personal energy through the simple activity of cycling has the power to electrify and inspire everyone to engage in sports.
During the ‘Torch Lighting’ event the Chief Executive Officer of the Aspire Zone Foundation, Mr Khalid Al Sulaiteen praised Qatar’s leadership for its visionary idea to dedicate a national holiday to sport for the benefit of the entire community, saying, “For Qatar’s leadership to decree a public holiday dedicated to sports is testament to this nation’s visionary goals as Qatar’s National Sport Day is truly a unique and unprecedented idea, making us one of the only countries in the world to do this.” “For Aspire Zone to inaugurate National Sport Day with the lighting of the torch is not merely symbolic but uniquely creative in that it conveys a poignant message to the local community about the how engaging in sports can light up everyone’s lives and not just to the Torch Hotel,” added CEO Al Sulaiteen.
Meanwhile, with recent figures showing that more and more Qataris are beginning to take up cycling as a sport, the event was also a celebration of the activities’ growing popularity.
Noting this, Dr. Mohamed Ghaith Al Kuwari, Head of the National Sports Day organising committee at AZF said, “Cycling is one of the most important sports for physical health and here at Aspire Zone Foundation we are seeking to promote this sport through new activities and events such as the Torch Hotel lighting as we look to integrate cycling as an integral element in Qatari culture.”
Aspire’s theme for this year’s National Sport Day extravaganza is ‘Family into Sports’ and will bring the whole family together through 14 fun, action-packed activities across the Aspire Zone. In the spirit of healthy living and committing to positive lifestyle changes, families can come together in a Family Boot Camp fitness session consisting of a series of structured exercises. For the more competitive family members, Aspire Logistics has organized a fun run that will begin at 9am. Mothers and daughters as well as fathers and sons can also pit their fitness levels against each other through various taster sessions including gymnastics, racket sports and aerobic sessions. Aspetar’s Healthy Living Department will also host a 5,000 Step Journey, inviting families to experience its ‘Step into Health’ program through a friendly family-orientated circuit that includes 12 interactive stations to educate children and their parents on healthy eating.
In continued efforts to unite the whole community on National Sport Day, Aspire is also hosting more than 20 private and governmental organizations including Ras Gas, Qatar Shell, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacyand the Qatar Football Association, who will all hold various sporting activities of their own. However, for those who prefer to spectate rather than participate, Aspire is running two competitions with gift vouchers and an iPhone 5s, iPod and iPad up for grabs. For more information on how to win search #QNSD_Aspire on social media or follow @Aspirezone on twitter or @AspirezoneQA on Instagram. Last year, Aspire’s National Sport Day celebrations saw a footfall of more than 25,000 Qatari residents and this year, Aspire’s third annual National Sport Day spectacular promises to dazzle the crowds even more as Aspire Zone Foundation continues to lead the way towards healthy living in the local community.
For more information please contact:
Amal H. Al-Sheemy
Senior Media Relations Specialist
Aspire Zone Foundation