Qatar Olympic Committee president HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani (right) with Qatari high jumper and world champion Mutaz Barshim at the Sports Excellency Awards 2016-17 at Qatar National Convention Center on Wednesday.
Patriotism, unity, ambition and excellence: these words rang aloud at the Qatar National Convention Centre on Wednesday when the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) announced its intentions to produce new champions in the future and make the country a sporting powerhouse. The milestone moment also saw the launch of a new Team Qatar website, the first-ever Team Qatar Club and re-designed Team Qatar social media channels.
Commenting on the new brand and strategy, QOC President His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani said: “Sport showcases the very best of humanity and it inspires humanity to give the very best version of itself. It provides hope, opportunity and unity. This is why I love sport so much, and why I am so excited about today’s launch of the QOC’s new brand and strategy. “We are an ambitious and optimistic nation and like every successful athlete, we are determined to continue to better ourselves, push our boundaries, breakdown barriers and re-define sporting greatness,” he added.
The QOC President continued: “Today is one of the most important moments in Qatar’s sporting past, present or future. It is a game-changing moment that will open sport up to more people than ever before, create new heroes and fuel future success.” The strategy aims to optimise partnerships between all of Qatar’s sporting entities, uniting everyone behind one, shared vision to become a leading nation in bringing the world together through sustainable sports development.
For the first time, the QOC’s strategy incorporates the work of its National Federations to ensure a unified approach to delivering the key objectives of creating a more active society, improving sporting performance and being a leader in promoting and progressing the Olympic Movement. The rollout of the new brand will focus on raising awareness of Qatar’s athletes, building their fan bases and creating a compelling connection between Team Qatar and the community, in order to encourage increased sports participation at every level – not just as champion athletes, but at school, with family, at clubs – or as coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators and more.
Following the end of the launch ceremony, the QOC hosted its annual Sport Excellence Awards, recognising and celebrating the athletes, organisations and individuals who have played a significant role in achieving sporting excellence for Qatar over the past year. Key awardees included Mutaz Barshim, who won Male Athlete of the Year following his gold medal at the 2017 World Athletics Championships, Sara al-Manaei, who won Female Athlete of the Season, following her two gold medals in last year’s Junior Arab Athletics Championships, and Ahmed Ali al-Ansari, who won the Service to Sport Award for his huge contribution to the development of youth sport in Qatar.
Later, Team Qatar’s most successful athletes, including high jump World Champion Mutaz Barshim, Olympic show jumping finalist, Sheikh Ali al-Thani, Paralympic silver medallist, Abdulrahman Abdelqader, Asian shooting medallist, Khulood al-Khalaf, and Qatar’s first female to compete in two Olympics, Nada Arakji, joined Qatar’s future sporting stars in an inspirational ceremony that culminated in the unveiling of the QOC’s new logo to the world.