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  • IOC President concludes a fruitful visit to Doha


    Bach poses for a picture on his visit to Qatar. (Qatar Olympic Committee)
    DOHA, April 01, 2014 – A Joint meeting between the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) was held at the QOC Headquarters in Doha, Qatar on Monday attended by IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach and his accompanying delegations who are on two day official visit to Qatar.

    HE Sheikh Saoud bin Ali Al-Thani, QOC Vice president chaired the meeting with the attendance of H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, QOC Secretary General and QOC Executive Board members beside the visiting delegation , comprising IOC Vice President, Nawal El-Moutawakel, Director IOC Olympic Solidarity Mr. Pere Miro, Administration –General Director Christophe De Kepper, Communication Director, Mr. Mark Adams and Head of Protocol Marina Baramia.

    During the meeting, The QOC appreciated the IOC President visit to Doha and lauded the distinctive relation between the QOC and IOC. Talks during the productive meeting centered on a number of topics related to the Olympic movement and ways of boosting common cooperation and exchanging the experience between the two organizations.

    For his part, the IOC President applauded Qatar’s comprehensive development in the sports infrastructure and its successful career in hosting major international sport events, also appreciated efforts of both Qatar and IOC to boost the Olympic solidarity and spreading the Olympic values through the sport.

    In a second fruitful meeting held and attended by the QOC officials , IOC visiting delegation and the Presidents of Qatar Sport Federations at QOC Headquarters a comprehensive presentation on Qatar Sport Strategy and the objectives of Qatar 2030 National vision was exhaustively reviewed and discussed. In a brief presentation, given by Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahamn, QOC shed light on Qatar busy calendar for the sport season 2014-2015 which is packed with more than 40 international sport events including 2015 IHF World Men’s Handball Championship , 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2014 and 2016 UCI Road World Championships. The QOC will maintain its ambitious strategy aimed at hosting major sport events over the upcoming 10 years.

    The sport sector presentation covered a series of vital topics and programs supervised and organized by the QOC including the Schools Olympic Program , a national sport program aimed at developing the sport skills and social values among students from different learning levels. The program brings together students representing all government and private schools across the country to compete in preliminary, qualifying and final stages at local clubs and the Aspire Zone. The presentation highlighted the overwhelming success of the program since the first edition held in 2007 under the theme “ Sport and Health” where more than 5000 students (boys and girls) from 100 schools took part in the competitions. Under the high response from students and parents the number of participants reached over 26.000 students from 380 in the last edition 2014 held under the theme “ Sport and Integrity”.

    The IOC President and accompanying delegation received brief about Qatar initiative to allocate National Sport Day since 2012, Tuesday in the second week of each February annually, named as official holiday where all government and non-government organizations, community individuals perform sport in all parks , playgrounds and indoor halls. The meeting agendas also dealt with a number of topics related to the Qatar Olympic Academy , its activities, programs and long - term vision. The QOA aims at developing sport in Qatar and to be international sport center for Olympic movement, education and knowledge in the Arab region.

    HE Dr. Thomas Bach addressed the audience at the end of the meeting and said he was glad to be visiting Qatar again. He affirmed being impressed by the way that Qatari leaders managed to put together a unique approach that is at the same time vertical and horizontal. Vertical as interest is given to developing children abilities in an innovative combination between education and sport while hosting major sport events. Mr. Bach said: “I remember when I was President of the German Olympic Committee that we were hosting a high number of international sport events , but I think that Qatar has set what I consider a world record with the 43 events it is organising in the 2014/2015 season.” The IOC president also lauded the Schools Olympic Program initiative and mentioned the long way it has achieved since he attended the finals of its second edition by reaching the impressive number of 26,000 participating boys and girls students. He saw in this program many similarities with the Youth Olympic Games and affirmed that the IOC is working at promoting these Games to serve youth the best way possible.

    As for the horizontal aspect of the Qatari approach for sport, Mr. Bach praised the various initiatives taken by Qatar to spread the message on the importance of sport as a means for a better health and wellbeing of the society, thus reflecting on the social, cultural and economic life. He mentioned among other projects the National Sport Day, as an innovative and very important initiative which might have inspired the United Nations decision setting April the 6th every year as a UN Sport Day.

    The Qatar Olympic Sport Museum, the Anti-Doping Laboratory, the Save the Dream project are other initiatives that shed light on the active role the State of Qatar is playing in the promotion of sport and Olympic values in the country, the region and the world.

    The IOC leader also said he was happy to know that the State of Qatar is putting together a contribution in the Olympic agenda 2020, and the IOC will be pleased to consider the initiative, lauding this cooperative spirit among all the members of the Olympic family.

    Thomas Bach affirmed: “The merit of Qatar and its achievements are even bigger with regard to the size of the country. I would like these efforts to continue, as investing in sport is a really valuable expenditure with regard to the important role sport is playing towards promoting society in various domains, and as a prime education tool to develop the skills and abilities of youth.”

    The IOC President ended his speech by expressing how excited he was to be visiting many of the projects and in particular the Qatar Olympic Academy and vowed to strengthen the cooperation between the International Olympic Committee and the QOC.

    The IOC President , Dr. Thomas Bach and accompanying delegation made a productive visit to the new building of Qatar Olympic Academy (QOA) , located near Al Ghraffah sport club which is scheduled to be opened in mid-2014. Dr. Bach received a detail information about components and the facilities of the building from Engineers in charge of the project. Dr. Bach was delighted by the project and said it will boost the Olympic movement in Arab Area.

    The visiting IOC delegation also recorded a productive visit to the Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar (ADLQ) on Monday afternoon and were welcomed by Dr. Mohammed Al Syarafi , the ADLQ President. Dr. Bach toured inside the laboratory sections which is considered as the first specialized Lab in the Middle East and West Asia, comprising a group of highly qualified scientists. Dr. Bach received a detailed presentation about the Lab plans and its compliance with the international standards in effort to get approval from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) by the end of 2014 and to be among 33 top high technical laboratories worldwide.

    In statement to local media on the occasion of this official visit , Dr. Bach expressed great pleasure to visit State of Qatar , appreciated the QOC professional performance , sport initiatives and its world standard sport facilities and confirmed the significant role of Qatar Olympic Academy in spreading the knowledge and Olympic movement in the Arab region. Dr. Bach also hailed the profound concern given by Qatar officials to develop community sport.

    Mr. Bach confirmed that the sport acts as bridge for communication, love , peace and exchange of culture between the nations and in this point he described Qatar as a leading nation in hosting the major sport championships and providing positive sport initiatives like the Schools Olympic Program, National Sport Day and Doha Goals, which is annual conference bringing the world leaders to set new initiatives helping the sport development globally.

    Likewise, the Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani lauded the visit of IOC President and accompanying delegation and hailed its productive outcomes in boosting the IOC and QOC relations. “ This visit reached the targeted objectives and built a base for joint efforts to boost the Olympic movement and initiatives in sport field. He also appreciated the IOC President press release on the growing role of Qatar regionally and internationally, he said such release reflects the pioneer role of the country at the world level and showing the profound concern given to sport and youth by HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir.

    It is worth mentioning that the QOC Secretary General hosted launch banquet in honor of IOC President and accompanying delegation at Katara on Monday also attended by the Presidents of Sport Federations.

    Hassan Abdullah Al Mohammadi
    Head of Media
    Qatar Olympic Committee
    Tel: +974 449 44646
    Fax: +974 449 44641

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