QOC, Sasol join hands to make disabled dream big
MIR BASIT HUSSAIN
DOHA THE Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatar Paralympic Committee and Sasol, a South African chemical company, have come together to launch a first-of-its- kind campaign ‘Definitely Able’ in Qatar. The campaign will be aiming to motivate differently able people to achieve their goals despite their disabilities and spread the message that “being disabled means definitely able’.
And the motivators will be the South African Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball team which has also qualified for the upcoming 2012 Paralympics in London.
The motto of the campaign is ‘being disabled means definitely able.’ The Basketball team will visit schools for people with special needs in the city like Shafallah Centre, Al Noor Institute and other local schools. Moreover, the highlight of the team’s stay will be an exhibition match, Chairs versus Champs on June 7 at the skating ring of the City Center mall.
Speaking to mediapersons, Secretary-General of the Qatar Olympic Committee HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al Thani stressed the fact that sports could make a real change to people’s lives. “First of all, we are proud to have Sasol as partners for the ‘Definitely Able’ campaign and we hope that through this campaign we will succeed in changing lives for better. We believe that sport has the power to bring about a real change in people’s lives. The South African team is a wonderful example of how the change can be achieved,” Sheikh Saoud said.
He also asserted that such positive measures could further strengthen relations between the two countries. “We believe that we can build a strong platform for a fruitful cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of sports,” added Sheikh Saoud.
The General Secretary of the Qatar Paralympic Committee, Dr Hassan al Ansari, while addressing the South African basketball team pointed out that through them they wanted to convey the message how champions were made. “We are a small country but we have been able to create a healthy environment for sports. Through you people, we are trying to show our people how champions are made. We are proud to have you in our country,” said Dr Ansari. He also thanked HE Sheikh Saoud for his support and giving the go- ahead for the campaign.
Also present on the occasion was South Africa’s Ambassador to Qatar HE Dr S Cachalia who stated that players made him feel at home.
“There are 10 more ambassadors of South Africa here right now and they make me feel at home. I thank HE Sheikh Saoud for making all this possible,” Cachalia said.
He also pointed out that apart from strengthening mutual relationships these players are here to show the people what they are made of. “In South Africa, the slogan is ‘Nothing about us, without us.’ They are here to show what South Africans are made of. For that people should check out the videos on YouTube and see how these men play against able bodied athletes,” the envoy added.
The captain of the basketball team, Marcus Retief said that their presence would help the Paralympics in Qatar. “We are proud to be part of this initiative.
And we hope that our presence will help Paralympics in Qatar.
One of the team members, Jaco Velloeh, who is 6 feet 11 inches tall said that there success lay in their team work. “I play as a forward in the team as I am not completely paralysed. But, you know, it’s all about team work; go out there and work as a team.” The country president of Sasol Qatar ended the session by saying that the campaign aimed to inculcate a positive attitude in people.
“The campaign focuses on what one can accomplish regardless of his or her disability; that everyone is able to be what they want to do. We would like to create a very positive attitude amongst people from all walks of life,” said Louw.