Heir Apparent receives IOC sports & eco award
RAJESH MISHRA DOHA THE Heir Apparent His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani received a special IOC Sport and Environment award from International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on the opening day of the 9th World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Doha on Saturday.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), HH the Heir Apparent and QOC president said, “Sports and environment are linked.
It is a sign of healthy relation.
As environment is one of the four pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani has donated $150 million for research and development in this field in the wake of global warming threat.
Besides, several legislations have been enacted to protect Qatar’s environment.” HH the Heir Apparent urged the participants to become brand ambassadors for protecting the environment and added that sports could become an active agent in this endeavour.
In his speech, Rogge said, “Protection of environment is one of the missions of the International Olympic Committee.
As the agenda for this conference suggests, our environmental obligations force us to minimise the damage to environment while organising major Olympic Games.” “We will hear during this conference how international and national federations are working round-the-clock to safeguard the environment.
Just as we use sports to encourage young people to take better care of their bodies, we are using sports to encourage young people to take better care of our planet,” he said.
“QOC is at the forefront of the regional effort to improve the climate around the world.
It has taken the message of protecting the environment through sports with the help of vigilant communities,” he added.
The countries which bagged the IOC Sport and Environment award for 2011 were South Africa, Japan, Columbia, Denmark and Oceania.
Lauding Qatar for its hospitality and organisational abilities, Rogge congratulated the country’s leadership for winning the bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and added that the country was capable of hosting many such events in future.
Hungary’s President and the Chairman of the IOC Commission for Sport and Environment, Dr Pal Schmitt, said that his expectations from the meet were high as 80 national Olympic committees and 17 international sports federations were participating in the conference.
Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Conference, HE Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman al Thani, thanked the IOC and the International Agency for Sport and Environment for selecting Qatar as the host of the mega event.
“The motto of the conference is ‘we play for a better environment’, which reflects the close relationship between sports and the environment.
Sportsmen are the beneficiaries of safe environment as it improves their health.
A good environment can sustain future generations without any hiccup,” he said.
“There is no doubt that major sporting events that bring thousands of athletes, attract tens of thousands of spectators and a large number of others who are involved in the run-up to the games, can have a significant impact, either positively or negatively, on the sustainability of environment in countries that host such events.
That is where we can see the importance of concerted efforts to ensure that the impact on environment is positive”, Sheikh Saud said.
Meanwhile, a cultural soiree, including a sword dance by young boys and a ballet on Qatar’s desert and marine heritage enthralled the viewers on the occasion.