catherine W GICHUKI
African expatriates from all walks of life took part in the National Sport Day (NSD) activities organised throughout the country. Kenyans, Ugandans, Somalis, Ghanaians and Ethiopians, all participated in a host of activities. While some took part in events organised exclusively by their communities, others were part of events organised by others.
The expatriates took part in activities such as football, tug-of-war, volleyball, zumba, spinning, taekwondo, cycling, swimming and athletics, with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of being physical activity for a healthy life. It was a day that brought together people from different walks of life and age groups.
Sintayehu Terefe, an Ethiopian, told Qatar Tribune that the community hosted several events at Aspire. Ethiopian Ambassador to Qatar HE Metasebia Tadesse Woldegiorgis and leaders from the Ethiopian Community Association were also present on the occasion.
Terefe said they organised fun-filled activities for children and adults ranging from athletics to football, tug-of-war, among others.
"NSD is a great day because it gives the community a chance to get together. Many people are busy at work, but this day gives people a chance to meet and participate in activities together," he said, while adding that community members gathered and discussed the benefits of being physically active, especially in this region. He quoted the ambassador as saying that the Ethiopian community participated in NSD events to ensure the realisation of the desired goals, in particular to raise awareness of the importance of sports.
Ugandan Community in Qatar Vice Chairperson Muganzi Aiden said the Ugandan community spent the day cheering the Ugandan cricket team, which played a match against the Qatar national team on Tuesday.
"The Ugandan cricket team had been practising and on Tuesday, the members of the Ugandan community went to the cricket stadium to show their support. Many people showed up to cheer the team. The game was good and it was nice to see a team from our motherland playing here in Qatar," he said.
Aiden thanked the NSD organisers saying that people need to be reminded about the importance of physical activity for a healthy life."When people exercise, they prevent lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension," he said.
A day marked for sport activities is very much needed and should be held more often and not just once a year."Organisations should also make it mandatory for employees to be physically active. This will help raise a healthy community. A healthy community is more productive," he said.
Jairus Kuria from the Kenyan community said a group of Kenyans volunteered at Qatar Foundation's ceremonial court where a marathon was held to mark the day.
"We were guiding runners about the route and it was fun," he said. After the marathon, they took part in various sporting activities."We went cycling," he said.
"National Sport Day is a very important day because besides raising awareness of physical activity, it also brings people from all walks of life together for one mission," he explained.