Qatar National Sport Day falls on Tuesday 9 February 2016 this year. More than just a day off school and work, residents and citizens alike are encouraged to take part in sporting activities to foster the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
The holiday started following a decree issued in December 2011 by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the then Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent. An initiative to promote the Qatar National Vision 2030, government ministries and private-sector organisations arrange a series of public events and encourage their employees to take part on the second Tuesday in February.
Whether you are interested in getting your sports kit on and taking part in a competitive race or just want to go to watch the fun as a spectator, you’ll find a range of events across the city.
The main event for families in the Aspire Zone will be the Fun Run. Free and open to all ages, this 2.5 km walk/run event will take place in the Aspire Zone near the Torch hotel. If you want to participate, registration is from 7:00 am to 8:45 am on Sport Day. Alternatively, why not join the Family Bike Ride taking part in Aspire Park? From 8:00 am to 11:45 am, you can rent four-person surrey bikes for a ride around Aspire Park’s bike trails.
For the football lovers, one of the highlights will be the Aspire Academy Football League where players born between 2004 and 2005 will compete. There will also be opportunities for younger footballers to play matches on the Aspire Zone’s outdoor football pitches. Eight teams will participate in a beach soccer completion. Or, if basketball is your sport why not take part in one of the 3-on-3 basketball competitions organised in partnership with the Qatar Basketball Federation.
Fitness activities in the Aspire Zone will include sprinting, throwing, vertical jumping, bike racing and Judo. A climbing wall will also be available near the Grand Heritage Hotel. One of the highlights this year will be the 5,000 steps journey, starting at 9:00 am next to the Burgeri restaurant.
Where: Aspire Zone including Aspire Park, Al Waab
When: 07:00 onwards
Doha Dash (Losail)
More than 3,000 people including former Olympic athlete, Dame Kelly Holmes, are expected to participate in this year’s Dolphin Energy Doha Dash. The 10 km, 5 km and 3 km races will start at 8 am, 9:15 am and 9:45 am respectively. There will also be a 1 km Mini Doha Dash for children starting at 10:45 am followed by a 1 km Ladies Walk at 11 am. Although registration for the races has now closed, fun activities for spectators will include a GO Sport Fitness Centre equipped with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a GO Sport basketball challenge and state-of-the-art Formula One simulators provided by Etihad Airways.
Where: Losail International Circuit Track
When: 07:00 for 08:00 start
Katara cultural village will be the venue for a number of events. At beach number 16, activities including water sport, contests and competitions, health education programmes, live shows and sport exhibitions will take place.
The Beach Rugby Challenge hosted by the Qatar Rugby Federation at beach number 4 will see 14 teams from local clubs, schools and companies competing. Beach touch rugby is a sport suitable for adults and children so this will be a fun, family-friendly event.
The best Qatar dragon boat clubs will also compete at Katara on National Sport Day. The competition is expected to start at 8 am and finish at 5 pm. There are competitive (500 m and 200 m) and recreational (200 m) events. Teams wishing to enter should visit www.qatardragonboat.com for details including competition rules.
Where: Katara beach number 4 (Beach Rugby Challenge) and beach number 16 (other events), West Bay
“Unlock your inner athlete” and join in one of the many events offered by Qatar Foundation. There will be group fitness classes in Oxygen Park for adults and kids including circuit training, “boxercise,” aerobics, Zumba and CrossFit. Children may enjoy pony riding at Al Shaqab or taking part in arcade games at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Centre. Traditional games including Carrom Board and Tug of War will also take place at this venue alongside ladies only events from spinning classes to Taekwondo. Finally, a Walkathon will be followed by a range of tournaments hosted by Qatar Foundation including some unusual events such as a PlayStation endurance event.
Where: Oxygen Park and Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Centre, Education City