NEWS | March 7, 2019

Sports Diplomacy Opens Doors in Qatar

By Randy Martin Area Support Group - Qatar

More than thirty U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Camp As Sayliyah became "sports diplomats" during Qatar National Sports Day in Doha, Feb. 12, 2019.

Three American teams represented U.S. Army Central's Area Support Group-Qatar. Their mission includes supporting military operations throughout U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility and building partnerships with military and civilian partners in Qatar.

"It's through sports diplomacy that we are able to build on an already strong military to military relationship," said Hani Abukishk, ASG-Q's officer in charge of civil military operations at Camp As Sayliyah.

Qatar National Sports Day is a national holiday. Throughout the country people took advantage of their time to play and have fun. ASG-Q's teams traveled to Al-Bidda park in the capitol and competed in tug-of-war, soccer, and volleyball matches with Qatar's military forces.

"We train our soldiers to be physically fit, mentally agile, and spiritually ready," said Col. Robert Kuth, ASG-Q's commander.

Kuth and other ASG-Q soldiers cheered as teams played.

"This is a great opportunity to demonstrate our continued commitment to one another as we work together to build and strengthen our partner capacity," said Kuth.

Winners advanced in brackets to a championship game. Overall, ASG-Q's volleyball team earned a second-place trophy. Other soldiers left the field smiling and with a fresh outlook.

"It's a huge stepping stone and shows unity amongst ourselves and the Qataris," said Sgt. Monique Best, a human resources sergeant with ASG-Q's headquarters. "I do believe this will open bigger doors in the long run when it comes to our partnership and joining forces."