Bahrain’s first-ever national sports day made great strides of success as citizens and expats engaged in a variety of sports and entertaining activities across the nation yesterday (Tuesday).
This day-long event was organized by the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) in cooperation with ministries, government bodies, national sports federations, sports clubs and Bahrain’s four governorates.
A packed programme of activities, open to the public of all ages and nationalities, were staged in different parts of the kingdom in an attempt to involve all segments of the Bahrain society to celebrate this national occasion.
Youth and Sports Affairs minister Hisham bin Mohammed Al Jowder gave the starting signal to the 1.7km running race and walkathon – the feature activity of the event – at the Sports Village behind the National Stadium in Riffa.
The running race/walkathon, organized in cooperation with the Bahrain Athletics Association’s Bahrain Road Runners, drew the attention of hundreds of eager Bahraini and non-Bahraini participants.
Other sets of activities staged at the same venue included table tennis, athletics, mind sports, volleyball, badminton, hockey, disabilities sports, horse riding, 3×3 basketball, gymnastics, cross fit, weightlifting, mixed martial arts, self defence, sky diving, tennis, sailing, folk games as well as other recreation games.
The rest of the sports programme featured competitions and performances in cricket, football, Spartan, in addition to running and cycling races, while a special booths for productive families, the Bahrain International Circuit, the Bahrain Olympic Committee, Fitness Team, local media publications and many others were set up to promote their services.
Amon top-ranking sports officials attending the event were Southern Governor, BOC board member and Organising Committee chairman Shaikh Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa, BOC board member and women’s sport committee chairwoman Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports assistant general secretary and BOC general secretary Abdulrahman Askar and senior representatives of ministries, sports federations, clubs and youth centres.
“We are here to celebrate this first of its kind occasion and to promote public health among the communities by bringing a sport day that is open to all members of the family,” said Supreme Council for Youth and Sports assistant general secretary and BOC general secretary Abdulrahman Askar.
“Everyone is invited to engage in a wide range of activities in an initiative which aims to motivate people to work out and build concepts of taking sport as a healthy lifestyle”.
But Askar noted that the hidden message of this particular event is ‘A sound mind in a sound body’, and promote the idea of community sport.
“We have been overwhelmed with the amazing response from the kingdom’s different authorities as this year’s maiden programme involved more than 10 ministries, 28 sports federations, national and expatriate sports clubs, youth centres and all four governorates putting up their best by delivering a set of sports and recreational activities throughout the day in different parts of Bahrain,” added Askar.
Askar extended his gratitude to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa for declaring a half day off for all ministries and government departments’ staff to engage in this year’s activities.
He also thanked Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman, and BOC President, for supporting the event and making it an all-round success.
Meanwhile, the Bahrain Olympic Committee organized a sports programme for its staff at Manama Club Gym in Juffair yesterday prior to the main event.
Askar, along with executive directors, head of directorates and all the committee employees engaged in a variety of activities prepared by Sports Training and Development specialist and veteran coach Saeed Al Aradi.