Every year, the second Tuesday of February marks Qatar National Sports Day (QNSD). The national holiday was established in 2012 with the main objective of promoting sports and educating a healthy lifestyle among its population. This goes hand-in-hand with Qatar National Vision 2030. QNSD is celebrated throughout Qatar, as well as with all of Qatar’s foreign missions across the globe.
This year’s celebration was held on February 11th. In the United States, QNSD was celebrated in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. The consulate general organized a sporting event on the occasion of National Sports Day. Students from five different NYC public schools attended the event.
In collaboration with AMERICA SCORES and Columbia University’s Men’s Soccer Team, the kids played soccer and enjoyed traditional Qatari food, with the Consulate General representatives and Columbia’s Men’s Soccer Team. “National Sports Day is a special celebration in our country, where communities and families learn, play and enjoy the benefits of sports and healthy living. We’re pleased to partner with America SCORES New York and Columbia,” said Nasser Ibrahim Allenqawi, Consulate General of Qatar in New York
In Los Angeles, the General Consulate of Qatar in Los Angeles organized a soccer game. The Consul General of Qatar in Los Angeles Khaled bin Youssef al-Sada and other diplomats participated in the event.
In Washington, DC, the Embassy of the State of Qatar partnered with Qatar-America Institute, the Washington Spirit, DC United, the Washington Redskins, and the National Children’s Museum. They celebrated QNSD with the theme Futbol Meets Football.
This year’s celebration brought together 400 students from the DC area to learn about America’s and Qatar’s most popular sports, healthy habits, and other fun activities.
DC United showed off some tricks and taught some of the fundamentals of soccer to the visiting kids. The Washington Spirit joined in by organizing scrimmages with the students in a mini soccer pitch. The Washington Redskins set up an obstacle course, as well as taught the children how to throw the ball properly and how to kick field goals.
The Embassy of Qatar had virtual reality headsets so the students could “step inside” Lusail Stadium, one of the venues that will host games at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar-America Institute had a station that taught the children about Qatari culture and had traditional Qatari games. The two featured games were Carrom and Teela, which are both popular games in Qatar.
Carrom is a “strike and pocket” table game played in South Asia and the Middle East. It combines elements of chess, billiards, and shuffleboard. Teela translated to English as “marble balls,” is one of the oldest known games and played all around the world, including in the United States.
Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani hosted a VIP reception with guests that included former and present Redskins players, Washington Spirit players, U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Mohammed, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Lenderking.
The national holiday was established in 2012 with the main objective of promoting sports and educating a healthy lifestyle among its population. This goes hand-in-hand with Qatar National Vision 2030. QNSD is celebrated throughout Qatar, as well as with all of Qatar’s foreign missions across the globe.