NEWS | Feb. 13, 2018

Qatar Armed Forces National Sport Day activities

By Sgt. Thomas Crough U.S. Army Central

Soldiers and Sailors from the United States joined service members from the Qatar Armed Forces for National Sport Day (NSD) activities at Camp Meqdam, near Doha, Qatar, Feb. 13, 2018. 

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah was in attendance and participated in the day’s events. 

“So today we are here, doing Qatar National Sports Day, which is a health initiative, to encourage a better lifestyle. Staying active, and just overall, any kind of sport or activity you can,” said 1st Lt. John Guittard, logistics planning officer, Area Support Group - Qatar. 

“They need all people to make sport, to run, to move. Not stay at home, they should go outside to make sport…” said Sanad Aloun, soldier, Qatar Army. “When you see all the people do sports together, no difference between soldier and officer, it is like one group.”

“I think it was a great idea for us to participate today because we’re here with the Qatar land forces, and any other land forces currently serving here in the nation of Qatar. We are…showing a great sense of cooperation that…we can play together, which means that we can work together, if we need to we can be serious together, more importantly we can show that we can be a team,” said Guittard.

“This is a unique event for us to participate with the Qataris, and again it builds that ability for us to be part of what they do here. This is a huge event for them to promote fitness in their culture…we are supporting and strengthening our cause that we are for it,” said Capt. Chris Routh, operations officer, Area Support Group – Qatar.

Routh, originally from Charleston, South Carolina, served as head coach of a basketball team made up of Soldiers and Sailors currently stationed at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. 

“I’m grateful that we were invited, we look forward to these types of events. So my guys have been practicing since January, they’ve been looking for a team to get involved with and to get competitive with since last November, so these types of things really inspires our guys ….” said Routh.  Many other events took place that allowed service members to test their physical skills. 

“I did two obstacle courses and I just did the rowing event ... the obstacle courses were team relays, teams of 5 and we are all doing different things. Tire flipping, box jumps, throwing medicine balls and then the other one was climbing a ladder, jumping down ladders, that sort of fun stuff,” said Guittard. 

National Sport Day in Qatar began in 2012 and is held annually on the second Tuesday of February. 

“I think it’s a great idea, it definitely works well in a nation like Qatar. I would love to see something like this back in the United States,” said Guittard.