WCMCQ contest to promote fitness in schools


DOHA WEILL Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMCQ) has issued details of ‘The Challenge’, its unique competition for schools.

‘The Challenge’ is part of the college’s innovative Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First campaign, which will see teams of 10 students from 15 schools from across Qatar compete in a series of fun events at the Aspire Dome on March 16.

The vision is to educate the nation’s youth about leading a healthy life and inspire them to incorporate the information into their daily lives.

WCMC-Q Dean Dr Javaid Sheikh said ‘The Challenge’ and the wider ‘Your Health First’ campaign as well as education and research demonstrate that the college is taking a lead in supporting the goal of a healthy nation.

He said: “The Challenge will be the first contest of its kind in Qatar, placing values on both education and physical fitness. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s ‘Your Health First’ initiative is determined to support the country in achieving the aims of Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping create a healthy population able to make a meaningful contribution to a knowledge-based economy.

We believe that Your Health First and The Challenge can assist us in this by engaging the country’s young people with education and physical fitness in an enjoyable way. If we can teach them about healthy living when they are young they will carry that information with them for the rest of their lives.

“With the support of the Supreme Council of Health, the Supreme Education Council, and our strategic partners - Qatar Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd., ExxonMobil and Vodafone Qatar - we can help create a healthy and prosperous future for all our citizens.” Fifteen schools across Qatar were nominated to participate in The Challenge by the Supreme Education Council.

Representatives from these schools recently attended a meeting and question and answer session to help them prepare for the event.

Nesreen al Refai, director of public affairs at WCMCQ, said it was a pleasure to be working with the schools.

With ‘The Challenge’ set to become an annual contest, it is expected that more schools will take part each year, spreading the message of ‘Your Health First’ to more and more of young people.

‘The Challenge’ is divided into two sections: education and physical fitness. The education segment has seen students at the participating schools research and design a poster based around healthy lifestyle. These posters will be displayed at an exhibition scheduled for around the beginning of March. This will also be an opportunity for the students to discuss their work, their research and their opinions about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.

The physical fitness part of the programmewill be held at the Aspire Dome on March 16.

The event will feature teams from all the participating schools.

The activities, which have been designed by a specialist company with the highest health and safety standards in mind, have been titled Crazy Climber, Bird Cage Rage, Pendulum, Buzzy Bees, Vegetable Relay Race, and Wacky Waiter Race. Many of them involve dressing up in costumes that are related to science and healthy lifestyles.

Boys and girls will compete separately to finish each challenge with the top three boys’ teams and top three girls’ teams being awarded gold, silver and bronze. The top school will also receive a trophy.

The event will be held under the supervision of WCMCQ in conjunction with the Supreme Education Council and the Supreme Council of Health.

Along with the games, there will also be interactive games and health professionals on hand to offer advice about healthy living and answer questions.

Yasser Mohamed Karkour, director of orientation and counselling at Abu Obaida School, said ‘The Challenge’ was an excellent idea that would pay dividends in the future.

Solange Ahdab, an art teacher at the French school Lycee Bonaparte, said students at her school had made 50 posters on various health topics. Omar Adbdelhalim, a student at Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib School, chose obesity as the topic for his poster.

He said: Fast food is the main cause of obesity. It contributes to 40 percent of cases.

I learnt that obesity is a major problem around the world, especially in England and the United States which have very high rates.” For Osman Mustafa of Abu Obaida School, nutrition and physical fitness were the inspiration for his poster.

Osman, who himself plays volleyball and table tennis, said: “I chose nutrition and fitness as junk food is too common now and it is very rare that you find people of my age that are very active. In my poster I show how good nutrition and physical fitness benefit the individual.” Baudouin Sorlooten, a student at Lycee Bonaparte, chose the topic of road safety.

He said the subject was discussed in class and he was free to use different artistic techniques to get his message across.

Smoking was the topic Nathalie Ramadan, from the Lebanese School, opted for.

She said that the health risks from smoking are well known and she wanted to live in a smoke-free world.

The schools taking part are: Omar Bin Khattab Preparatory, Lebanese School, English Modern School, International School of Choueifat, Al Yarmouk School, Cambridge School, Qatar Academy, Amna Bint Wahab Independent Preparatory School for Girls, Al Jazeera Academy, Lycee Bonaparte, Doha British School, AbuBakr Assedeeq Boys Preparatory, Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib School, Abu Obaida School and Al Bayan Girls’ Preparatory School.

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