Tribune News Network
Ooredoo and Save the Dream convened at EXPO Doha 2023 the forum “The GameChangers: developing skills and promoting positive change through sport and its values”.
Over 200 youth leaders, many of them mobilized by the Qatar Youth Power association, had the opportunity to meet and learn from high-level representatives from leading organizations based in Doha such as Generation Amazing, Aspire Academy, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Josoor Institute, Qatar Foundation, the UNESCO Office for the Gulf States and Yemen in Doha, and the EU Delegation to Qatar, and be inspired by the stories and experiences of successful athletes like Nada Mohammed Wafa, Dual Olympian, London 2012 and Rio 2016, Ali Alobaidli, Qatar’s first World snooker champion, Mariam Farid, Runner, Member of Qatar’s National Team of Athletics, and Wejdan Majed Al-Malki, Athlete, CDI5* Grand Prix Dressage.
The forum also featured Save the Dream Ambassadors Honey Thaljieh, Public Relations Manager at FIFA, and Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Boxing and Wrestling Federation (QBWF).
Held on the eve of the Qatar’s National Sports Day, the event provided a unique opportunity for young people to understand the role of sport with regard to the development of transversal skills, promotion of societal values and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Participants learnt about both volunteering and working opportunities in the sport industry and were engaged in a vibrant conversation on how to use the educational values of sport to build bridges and promote positive change.
The dialogue was structured around best practices, storytelling, and research findings related to youth empowerment through sports. Athletes shared their own experiences, reflecting on their journey of growth and success that defined their career and personal life.
Sabah Rabiah Al Kuwari, Director of Public Relations at Ooredoo Qatar, commented: “This event has highlighted the role of sport as a universal language of empowerment and positive change. Through our collaboration with Save the Dream and the involvement of Qatar’s vibrant youth and sporting community, we’ve helped to spotlight the invaluable lessons sport teaches us—resilience, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence.
“As Ooredoo continues to champion these values, we remain committed to leveraging our platform to nurture young leaders and advocate for sport’s educational and societal
Massimiliano Montanari, CEO at Save the Dream, said: “It was a very good day. First of all, we spent quality time with most of our key partners in Qatar. Being all of us busy on so many fronts, it does not happen every time.
“We appreciate each other, and it is a joy to connect and reconnect. And it was great to make new friends, meeting amazing athletes and so many youth leaders. I hope we were able to give them some useful information, tips, and a bit of inspiration.”
Salah Khaled, Director of the UNESCO Office for the Gulf States and Yemen recalled that “Every human being has a fundamental right of access to physical education and sport, which are essential for the full development of his personality” as stated in the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport (1978).
“Through its Fit for Life Flagship project, UNESCO is advancing the sports agenda globally. Fit for Life is a framework for public and private smart investments in the transformative power of sport, to promote its tenfold human, social inclusion, educational, health and equity benefits.
Dr. Angelos Lenos, Deputy Head of Mission at the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Qatar, said: “We were extremely glad to be part of this inspiring event, which afforded us the opportunity to engage again with some of our local partners in sports diplomacy, and to reaffirm our strong commitment to collaborating with the local community in advancing the values championed by our sports diplomacy activities.”
Natalie Magness, Founder of Qatar Youth Power, said: “This event was testament to the power sport holds in bringing people together, transcending age, national, cultural, language, political and religious borders to unite and empower.
“The insights shared by the incredible speakers and the thought-provoking conversations were truly inspiring and a reminder that our world leaders must place a stronger emphasis on sport in alleviating conflict and peace-building as well as including youth in the processes and decision-making in these efforts.
“I am certain that the youth of Qatar have been empowered and inspired to get more involved in sport, from active participation to championing the values sport espouses such as compassion, team work, and equality.”
Nasser Alkhori, Executive Director of Generation Amazing Foundation, stated: “At the ‘The GameChangers’ forum, alongside Ooredoo and Save the Dream, we delved into the transformative power of sport, a cornerstone of Generation Amazing’s mission for youth empowerment.
“The forum was a vibrant showcase of how sport influences societal values and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals. Witnessing the passion of over 200 youth leaders and absorbing the powerful narratives of accomplished athletes only deepened our resolve. It’s clear: sport is more than just a game; it’s a dynamic force for fostering positive change, unity, and social development.
“Our collaboration at this event has further solidified our dedication to harnessing sport as a catalyst for empowering the next generation and driving meaningful societal progress.”
Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science, Aspire Academy, said “The Forum showcased the pivotal role of sport. It can help young people grow in many ways. We talked about how sports teach important skills, build strong characters, and promote good values. It wasn’t just about celebrating sports skills; it was about showing how our youth are growing into people who can make a positive difference in the world championing societal values.”
The following executives and experts spoke at the event: Afraa Al Noaimi, Executive Director, Josoor Institute; Valter Di Salvo, Director of Football Performance & Science, Aspire Academy; Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing; Christos Anagnostopoulos, UNESCO Chairholder & Director: Governance & Social Responsibility in Sport; Angelos Lenos, Deputy Head of Mission, EU Delegation to Qatar; Donia Abdelwahed, Program Specialist, UNESCO office for the Gulf States and Yemen; Ahmed A. Al Banai, Manager CSR & Sponsorship, Ooredoo; Kamilla Swart-Arries, MSEM Director, Hamad Bin Khalifa University; Bashayer Al Ali, Head of Partnerships Assessment, Qatar Foundation; Carol Jimenez, Coordinator, The House of Sport Volunteer; Shafeeque Parakkuth, Head, Sport for Development and Peace, Save the Dream; and Ali Fouad, Head Goalkeeper Coach, Aspire Academy, among others.