Tribune News Network
Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari has described the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as an opportunity to promote physical and mental health.
The minister was speaking at an event organised by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) on the sidelines of the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva to highlight the aims and achievements of the Sport for Health partnership at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
She explained that through the Sport for Health initiative, the partners have created an unprecedented model for organisers of future mega sports event to follow.
“In 2021, the Sport for Health partners came together to set ambitious goals, using the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as a platform to promote health for people around the world. Sport and health are intrinsically linked, and through the FIFA World Cup, the most watched sporting event in the world, we had a wonderful platform to promote health to communities across the globe,” she said.
She added, “This event brings together the participation of many health and sports leaders to share their experiences and to learn from each other how we can use future mega sporting events as catalysts for action to protect and promote health. This is an innovative strategy for achieving our public health objectives through a truly health in all policies, whole government approach. I am confident this can be the basis for an innovative and long-lasting international collaboration.”
The event was attended by senior representatives from the World Health Organization and Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, as well as health leaders, organisers of major sporting events and a number of international sports stars.
In October 2021, Qatar, through the MoPH and SCDL signed a three-year partnership with the World Health Organization, working closely with FIFA, to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a beacon for physical and mental health promotion, and a model for ensuring future mega sports events are healthy and safe.
The side event brought key stakeholders together to discuss their experience and planning approach in hosting mega sporting events, including the core components of legacy, and to garner support from all stakeholders towards a sustained global movement for sport and health.
Throughout the event, delegates heard from a number of sports organisers and health leaders, including Minister of Health of Ghana Kwaku Agyemang-Manu; WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari; Assistant Secretary in the Office of Global Affairs for the US Department of Health and Human Services Loyce Pace; Chair of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Health Strategic Command Group Dr Ahmed Al Mohammed; and Head of Olympic Games Impact and Legacy, International Olympics Committee Tania Braga.
Qatar’s Olympic high jump gold medalist Mutaz Barshim and Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini participated as special guests in the event.
The international sportspeople congratulated the Sport for Health partners on their achievements and praised their commitment to ensuring the legacy continues for generations to come.
Also present at the event, were representatives from Generation Amazing Foundation (GA), the human and social legacy initiative of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 dedicated to achieving positive social change in communities using the transformative power of football. GA operates its sport for development programmes in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Qatar’s National Vision 2030, to promote sustainability, inclusion and gender equality. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kick-off, it reached the milestone of impacting one million lives globally.
During the event in Geneva, GA highlighted this impact and showcased its sport for development work spanning over 75 countries worldwide to delegates while providing the opportunity to engage in a football-related activation.