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Sports, a Catalyst for Change
Posted February 10, 2013 by Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani


Last month we celebrated the 7th edition of Wheels ‘n’ Heels. Hosted at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, and supported by Maersk oil Qatar and the Commercialbank – this initiative focuses on local communities.  The goal is for sports to change the way we live, for the betterment of our selves as well as others.   It was a fantastic day, with parents and children together celebrating our diversity through sports, art, and culture.  
ROTA’s objectives are to support our national vision locally and abroad – sports being a cornerstone in our development – culture at the heart of it.   As we celebrated the second year of our National Sports Day – it is clear that sports is part of our culture.  At the same time, we are confronted with the reality that more and more of our children are getting obese.  This is something we need to address, as parents and teachers we need to guide our children towards healthier habits of eating and encouraging them to be active. 
At Katara, the Qatar Sports and Olympic Museum is hosting an exhibition called Hey’Ya – it focuses on Arab women athletes across the 22 Arab countries.  Brigitte Lacombe photographed our athletic stars while her sister Marion complemented them with elaborate films to expose the stories behind these athletes.  Their struggles, their accomplishments – but more importantly their future contribution to a healthier society.  As these young girls become future mothers, they will encourage their children to play sports and therefore reduce the risks that accompany a lifestyle of lack of activity.  I encourage you to be inspired, and encourage your daughters to practice sports – for leisure at the very least. 
Creating awareness has always been a key factor to educating the masses. With that being said, the participation of Action on Diabetes, Health & Active Zone, Aspire Academy, and Girls on the Go, to name a few, allowed for our public to engage and understand some of the health issues we face, and moreover how to overcome them together. 
Ultimately, sports are a catalyst for change – its integration, imperative in every society.  ROTA has been using it as a tool in its development projects across Asia, as well as for cultural awareness, and to exhibit the importance of health in Qatar.  We are grateful to all our supporters, our sponsors and more importantly participants. Sports for life – active for good!
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