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Friday, March 5, 2021

Olympic champion, star Qatari athlete urge residents to race in Doha Dash

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Doha Dash - 5km start
Doha Dash – 5km start

A 16-year-old Qatari girl who is considered among the country’s most promising young athletes will serve as ambassador for the Dolphin Energy Doha Dash alongside British Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes, organizers have confirmed.

Mariam Farid has already achieved significant success as a member of Qatar’s national track and field team, representing the state in the 400m run and 400m hurdles at regional and international meetings, winning a silver medal in the West Asian Championships in Jordan and also in the GCC championships in Doha last year.

Now she said that she hopes her achievements will inspire other young people to sign up to take part in this annual run, as the first step to becoming more active.

Doha Dash - 1km children's race
Doha Dash – 1km children’s race

The Doha Dash, now in its third year, takes place on National Sports Day (Feb. 10) at the Losail International Circuit.

It will feature a 5km run for over 12s, a 3km route for over 8s, a 1km children’s run and a 1km ladies’ walk.

Up to 3,200 people are expected to take part in this year’s event, and for many it will be the first time they have put on a pair of trainers to do some sport.

There are just a few days left to register for the event, which can be done online via the website until 11pm on Monday, Feb. 2. Signing up is free for the ladies’ walk and children’s run. Entry for the 3km run costs QR50, while the 5km is QR100.

Money raised from the registration fees will go toward building a new playground for the Shafallah Center, which provides free services to 720 special needs students in Qatar.

Role model

Mariam, a student at Gulf English School, was also one of Qatar’s ambassadors during the country’s bid to host the World Championships in Athletics in 2019, which it won in November.

Mariam Farid
Mariam Farid

Competing in that major track and field event and winning the gold in front of a home crowd is one of her biggest goals in the upcoming years, she told Doha News.

“It would be amazing. I want to show everyone that I’m in my home country, competing in front of my friends and family. Winning would make them proud,” Mariam said.

Spotted by coaches at the age of 13 while training at Aspire, Mariam has been a member of the national team for the past three years. She trains for two hours after school every day, except Fridays, but said she doesn’t find the commitment onerous.

“I really love it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be good at it. It’s a lot, but if you want to be a champion, you have to work. I really want to be a champion. I want to go far – I want to represent Qatar and represent the Gulf woman.

I want to show other countries that girls in Qatar do do sports here, and I want other girls in other Gulf countries to see me and know that they can do this too. We are powerful,” she told Doha News.

Mariam said her success so far has been in a large part due to the support she has received from friends and especially her family. Her father travels with her to all her international competitions, and is a great source of strength, she said.

Mariam Farid
Mariam Farid

Mindful of her position as a role model for other young people, particularly young women in Qatar, she is using her role as ambassador for the dash to try to encourage others to take up sport and have a more active lifestyle.

“I want to say to them: change your routine, try something different, something that’s going to be good for your health and generally good for you,” she urged.

“Have the courage to do it.  And remember that the person who wants to do something shouldn’t listen to other people and their opinions. The people who don’t want you to be successful will always tell you stuff, that you will fail.

Always believe in yourself,” Mariam added.

Mariam will be this year’s public face of the dash, alongside double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, who won the gold for the 800m and 1,500m distances in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Dame Kelly Holmes
Dame Kelly Holmes

Since she retired from athletics in 2005, Holmes has been an advocate for youth sports and supporting young athletes, particularly in the UK where she has two organizations under her name.

KH Education provides training and mentoring programs for talented young sports people and their coaches, while Dame Kelly Holmes Trust runs sports development courses for disadvantaged young people, including those with disabilities, learning difficulties and the homeless.

Do you plan to take part in the Doha Dash? Thoughts?

21 COMMENTS

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DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

Anything that can be done to promote healthy living and physical activity in one of the world’s fattest and least active societies is a good idea. Well done.

Reem M
Reem M
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

u didn’t have to be mean about it

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  Reem M

I’m not being mean about it; I’m being honest. It’s for the reasons I listed that people in Qatar need to be more active. Denial is the greatest enemy in the fight against poor health.

Slim Pickins
Slim Pickins
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

As a United States expat, I must say it seems you’ve never visited the States. Statistically the most obese country on Earth and well earned.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Slim Pickins

Untrue, Qatar passed the USA for that dubious distinction.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  Slim Pickins

I hate to break it to you, but the U.S. is no longer number 1 in yet another category.

The U.S. ranked 20th in adult obesity; Qatar ranked 4th (and this includes all of the skinny workers).

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jfUSFVuyMnrD69W4H5DWJBS4PDfjjsTK3Yv-_ouM4oQ/edit#gid=2097889834

This study from a couple of years earlier put Qatar at number 1:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2129799/Qatar-named-fattest-nation-earth-HALF-adults-obese.html

Adjusting for the million plus laborers, who are generally very thin and often malnourished, Qatar is MUCH heavier per capita than any state in the U.S. (worse even than Mississippi–fattest state, a place where 1/3 of adults reported they did NO exercise last month, and a place where sweet potato pie is considered a vegetable, although an admittedly tasty one). Qatar also has a significantly higher rate of weight-related diabetes than the U.S.

Time to get out and exercise!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Perhaps get out of the LC and walk into the shop instead of banging on a horn and blocking the road, would be a good start!

Reem M
Reem M
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

im not denying it but u should have said it in a better way

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Reem M

It isn’t the least bit mean or insulting; his words are a simple statement of fact.

Reem M
Reem M
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

yeah i don’t think so

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Reem M

Opinion noted and rejected.

Robert Pirsig
Robert Pirsig
6 years ago

Novel idea of holding a national sports day. Philosophy is right though ground realities will mean that change will take a long time. Important first st though.

Anon
Anon
6 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pirsig

Hey, my chopper makes strange noises when i switch down from 3rd to 2nd…..is it a loose chain or should I just oil my gearbox and meditate? thanks

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

How do you ride a chopper whilst using 2 mobile phones, eating a shwarma, drinking karak, performing flashy flashy and smoking? Or do you sit on the back whilst your Indian driver pilots the machine?

Bo
Bo
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

On the flashy flashy – some cars that do that on the highway are really working those fingers – burning hundreds of calories a trip the amount of flashing – so much so it got me wondering… do some of these cars have a button you can install/program to cause them to flash automatically? If not, business idea… and if so – shame on you!

guest
guest
6 years ago

Poland vs Qatar oh sorry Poland vs Spain+Montenegro+Serbia+Cuba+and other countries

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Yep…but you forgot to mention…..Poland vs the corrupted referees!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Australia won the Asian Cup!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Well done Miriam Farid…excellent role model for younger (and older) Qataris…

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

I feel most Qatari’s need to escape car culture

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Interestingly Dolphin is an Emirati company making a fortune out of Qatari gas, the only foreign GCC company operating in another’s sensitive hydrocarbon sector. I think they should be putting back more into thecommunity than just the Doha dash.

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