National Sport Day is an annual public holiday in Qatar that aims to promote healthy living and regular exercise. It takes places on the second Tuesday in February, and will be held for the third time on Feb. 11.
A plethora of activities are being planned across the country to help residents here stretch their legs, get their hearts pumping and generally be a bit healthier.
Since there is so much going on, we thought this guide would help out those who are participating to make a plan for the day. To get the full, unfiltered list of events, check out www.sportday.qa.
As always, the Doha Corniche will be a hive of activity this NSD, with a sports walk, rowing competitions, and of course, the Sports Village.
The Sports Walk, organized by the Qatar Olympic Committee and open to the public, starts at Orry plaza on the Corniche at 9am, with participants heading to Sheraton Park.
A special SOP Run along the same route from Orry to Sheraton will be held at 11am for kids.
Looking out on the water, visitors will get to watch Al Shawahef Rowing championship, which starts at 8am and continues until 5pm.
Just off of the Corniche and adjacent to the General Post Office is the Sports Village, which opened to the public this weekend, and offers performances, games and activities and healthy food options.
Featured activities including rifle + bow & arrow shooting, horse riding, football, billiards and more.
Qatar’s Tennis Federation, Sailing & Rowing Federation, Table Tennis Federation, and Basketball Federation will all also be organizing games and competitions.
Here’s what it looked like on its first night (Thursday):
From 8am to 6pm on Feb. 11, Ooredoo will be organizing “exciting, fun-filled challenges” at the Museum of Islamic Art Park.
Activities include tug-of-war competitions, balloon relay races, boxing, ping pong, frisbee bowling, volleyball, football, a skateboard ramp, capoeira, pilates, yoga and cycling. Check ooredoo.qa/en/sportday for a map of the venue.
Notably, the MIA parking lot will be closed, but visitors can park at the Qatar Sports Club and take a shuttle to the museum.
Visitors to the Katara Cultural Village won’t be missing out on this year’s Sports Day fun. The planned events include:
- A “cycling festival for all” by the Qatar Cycling Federation from 8am to 8pm;
- A 1600m kids and family relay competition from 9am to 5pm by the Childhood Cultural Centre;
- Tennis for all from 10am to 4pm by the Qatar Tennis Federation;
- Water polo matches from 11am to 4pm by the Qatar Swimming Association; and
- A 3×3 competition for men from 10am to 10pm by the Qatar Basketball Association.
Here’s the full schedule (download the pdf):
The Aspire Zone is going big for NSD, starting early with a “Lighting the torch” event on Feb. 10 from 4pm to 6pm, which you can watch live here. Local sports stars will pedal stationary bicycles situated outside the Torch Hotel, generating energy to light up the building.
On Feb. 11, activity highlights include a 4km Fun Run, Aspire Active Family Boot Camp, and the “5,000 Steps Journey.”
Here’s the full schedule:
Barzan Olympic Park
Barzan Olympic Park north of Doha on Al Shamal Road will be open to the public free of charge on Feb. 11.
Organized activities there will include traditional games, self-defense demonstrations, football, basketball, beach volleyball, a public walk and water sport competitions in the indoor hall.
West End Park
In Mesaimeer, the West End Park complex will offer a cycling track for visitors, while Commercial Bank will be hosting a cricket match at the West End Cricket Stadium, which is open to the public.
The Dolphin Energy Doha Dash is back for its second edition at the Losail International Circuit from 8am to 2pm on National Sport Day.
The event features a 5km run; a 3km run; a 1km run for children; and a 1km ladies walk. Sign up here.
Here’s what last year’s race looked like:
Terry Fox Run
The College of the North Atlantic, the Qatar Cancer Society, the Canadian Embassy – Qatar, and the Four Seasons Doha are organizing The Terry Fox Run 2014 on Tuesday to raise cancer awareness.
Featuring 3km, 6km, and 9km events, registration begins at 9am. The race starts at 11:30am at the College of North Atlantic-Qatar campus.
The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl plans to offer “a program full of fun for kids and adults alike” on National Sport Day.
In addition to performers, activities will include football, beach volleyball, tug-of-war, touch rugby, cricket, and “mini-Olympics.”
The EFG Sailing Arabia tour will also be on at the Pearl on Feb. 11, which spectators can watch from Porto Arabia:
The numerous sports clubs across Qatar will also mark National Sport Day with indoor and outdoor sports activities at Al Shahniya, Al Markhiya, Messaimeer, Cricket club, Al Shamal, Al Sailiya, Umm Salal, Al Arabi, Al Wakra, Al Rayyan and Qatar Sport Clubs.
- A race from the Corniche to the El Jaish Sports Club;
- Various activities organized by Vodafone and Qatar Airways at the Al Sadd Sports Club;
- A marathon from the Doha Corniche to Al Khor by the Al Khor Sports Club;
- A race from Villaggio mall to the Muaither Club;
- Various activities organized by Qatar Gas and Qatar Airways at the Al Gharafa Sports Club; and
- Various matches, sports demonstrations and activites lined up for the public at the Al Shahaniya Sports Club from 8am to 5pm.
What do you have planned for Sports Day? Thoughts?