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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Taking little steps towards a healthier future

Close to 400 children from 14 schools joined former sports stars and officials to celebrate World Walking Day at Katara.
Jassim Rashid Al Buenain, Fourth Right, And Former Players During The Walk
Jassim Rashid Al Buenain, fourth right, and former players during the walk.
IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

A little after 9am on Thursday, 394 children, belonging to 14 schools, assembled outside the drama theatre at the Katara Cultural Village.
Surrounded by buildings that reflect Qatar’s past, the young generation was introduced to ways of healthier living during the Qatar Olympic Committee’s (QOC) World Walking Day celebrations. Several former Qatari stars were present to motivate them.

Indeed, the event, held in collaboration with the Association For International Sport for All, Qatar Diabetes Association and Katara, was a grand event.

Track and field legend Talal Mansour, a quadruple Asian Games gold medallist, said such events would help the future generations.

“These children will grow up to be Qatar’s future. Given the right guidance now about living and eating healthy, they’ll pass on the knowledge to their children as well. If it happens, the amount of money Qatar spends now on the treatment of its citizens can be halved in 20 years,” he told Inside Qatar.

Schoolchildren Take Part In The Walk At Katara
Schoolchildren take part in the walk at Katara. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The event’s seventh edition saw children attend short presentations about diabetes, healthy living and food habits. They then joined officials and former athletes for a quick, brisk walk to the Katara Theatre, situated a little distance away.

QOC Secretary General Jassim Rashid Al Buenain said getting former stars involved in the event was a deliberate move.

“These stars gave the best years of their lives to Qatar and are legends in their own right. Speaking to them will make a strong impression on the minds of youngsters. We also wanted to show we haven’t forgotten our stars and their contributions to sport,” he said.

Former national basketball team captain Yasseen Moussa and former Qatar SC footballer Abdulaziz Hassan were some of the stars who undertook the walk with the kids.

Qatar Swimming Association president Khaleel Al Jabir, who is also the QOC’s Sports Affairs Director, said the walk helped showcase Qatar’s different facilities.

“Two years ago, we held the walk at the Museum of Islamic Arts, and last year it was at the Aspire Park. We wanted to highlight different non-sports venues available for people in Qatar to walk and do light exercises in. The walk is now in its seventh edition, and we’ll continue hosting it for years to come,” said Al Jabir.

World Walking Day was launched to encourage people to practice various kinds of non-competitive sports activities and promote physical activity.
For Qatar, which started the unique Schools Olympic Programme in 2007 and later the National Sports Day, this is yet another initiative to create a young generation of healthy individuals.

Schoolchildren And Officials Pose For A Group Picture
Schoolchildren and officials pose for a group picture. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran