Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) celebrated its 40th Anniversary in a ceremony held at Kempinski Doha Hotel yesterday.
In a speech during the ceremony, QOC president HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani said that the founding of QOC contributed to creating a route of sports development in Qatar, thanks to the efforts made by His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who announced the establishment of the sports body on March 14, 1979.
“Since that day, sport in Qatar has been steadily advancing under the leadership of its presidents, who have led the Qatari sports movement and continued its march with confidence, competence and efficiency, having a great impact on the development of the Olympic movement. This was followed by an important milestone when His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, assumed the presidency of the Qatar Olympic Committee in December 2000, which marked a turning point in the history of Qatari sport,” said Sheikh Joaan.
“Doha has become a beacon of pride, thanks to the guidance and directives of His Highness the Amir, who has established Qatar’s status globally, and made sport one of the important pillars for sustainable development of the country,” he said.
Sheikh Joaan also praised the efforts of the champions over the past decades, achieving some of the best continental and international results that put Qatar in its current leading sport position.
He added: “Over 40 years, the Qatar Olympic Committee has made accomplishments in various fields and at all levels. QOC has made a quantum leap in sports work and has had an active presence in continental and international forums, and in various sports events and competitions in which Qatari athletes participated and won several titles and medals.”
The QOC President said that with the outstanding presence of Qatar, the great development of its sports infrastructure, the world-class sports facilities, and its organisations of major international tournaments, Doha deserves to be named the capital of sport.
QOC has received numerous accolades and awards in various sectors, and has created a number of concepts through slogans such as Sports for Life, he added.
Sheikh Joaan concluded his speech affirming QOC’s keenness and commitment to achieve the objectives of promoting and developing the Olympic Movement in Qatar, and developing it in accordance with the Olympic Charter in addition to advancing with its strategy in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
He presented an award to His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani as the first QOC president.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Fahad al-Thani was also honoured as a former QOC president, besides a number of senior athletes and former QOC secretary-generals, including Mohamed bin Hammam al-Abdulla, Yousef Ahmed al-Sa’ai, Rashed bin Haseen al-Nuaimi, Dahlan Jumaan al-Hamad, Sheikh Saoud bin Ali al-Thani, Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman al-Kuwari and Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
The awardees also included the first Qatari winner of an Olympic medal Mohamed Sulaiman, and Paralympics Rio 2016 medal winners Abdulrahman Abdulqader and Sarah Masoud.
QOC secretary-general Jassim bin Rashid al-Buenain expressed delight for meeting the awardees on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the committee. He said with this day QOC has completed 40 years, which is a path that witnessed many proud sporting achievements, due to the outstanding role it has played since its inception in promoting the Olympic Movement, and hosting many events and major sports tournaments.
He said the occasion celebrates the ongoing successes and developments. He then expressed appreciation to all former QOC staff since its inception in 1979.
QOC strategy, which was launched in 2017 and extends until 2022, comes from national priorities which aim to achieve three main outcomes: increasing sports in the community, reviving Olympic values and ensuring sports excellence locally and internationally, he added.
Al-Buenain said in order to achieve these goals, a strategic map has been prepared for the QOC and the sports federations and committees.
He said this strategy is based on institutional values of appreciation, quality, trust, responsibility, development and creativity.
He said that QOC can reach the desired results with the concerted efforts of each of the QOC members, the efforts of federations and sports committees, and all local and international partners.
He said that QOC has reaffirmed its commitment to complete its path and looks forward to excellence under the guidance of QOC President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani. He added that after an impressive first 40 years, QOC is confident that the next phase will witness further achievements in support of Qatar National Vision 2030.
The celebration of the 40th anniversary of QOC included a discussion panel with the participation of QOC President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, former secretary-general and Qatar’s ambassador to Germany Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, IAAF vice-president Dahlan al-Hamad, QOC second vice-president Dr Thani bin Abdulrahman al-Kuwari and QOC’s secretary-general Jassim bin Rashid al-Buenain.