Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Qatar Shell announced the kick-off of the second season of Il’Ab We’Yana (‘play with us’), an extra-curricular school programme based on the FutbolNet methodology created by FC Barcelona Foundation.  Il’Ab We’Yana uses football to develop healthy habits and encourage positive behavioural change by providing children with an extra four hours of non-competitive physical education per week.

Il’Ab We’Yana, a part of the broader KOORA TIME initiative that the QFA and Qatar Shell announced last February, is a five-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellbeing of Qatar’s youth through football.

Il’Ab We’Yana will run for 24 weeks.  Sessions will be two hours in length and will be held twice a week after school at five different venues across the country, ensuring that sessions are easily accessible within each community. The programme will provide each child with an additional 96 hours of physical activity over its 24-week duration.

In preparation for the start of the second season, trainers from FC Barcelona Foundation led a two-day coaching seminar on 29 & 30 November at the QFA Technical Committee in Doha. The seminar was attended by 60 QFA and Qatar Women’s Sports Committee coaches. Non-competitive football training was the central focus of the programme.

The seminar also offered six teaching modules that focus on healthy living.  The modules covered the importance of drinking water and maintaining hydration, eating fruits, vegetables and grains, eating a good breakfast and getting sufficient sleep. The modules also stressed the harmful effects of fast food and snacks, fat and sugar, and using tobacco.

Having completed the course, the qualified coaches will commence weekly training sessions at five venues across Qatar, including the northern communities, with a capacity to positively impact over 1,000 children.

Saoud Al Mohannadi, General Secretary, QFA, stated, “Following a very successful start we are thrilled that Il’Ab We’Yana is back to motivate and educate Qatar’s youth to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle through football.”

Rob Sherwin, General Manager Corporate Affairs and Deputy Country Chairman, said:

These are exciting times for us and our partners, QFA and FC Barcelona Foundation.  Il’Ab We’Yana gives children across the country access to more football, which in turn will lead to healthier youth and a better future for Qatar. This programme carries forward the KOORA TIME movement that we hope will inspire behavioural changes leading to improved health and fitness through football. This will help us realize the important goals set by Qatar’s National Development Strategy and Qatar National Vision 2030.’

Ramon Cierco, FC Barcelona Foundation Vice President, said:

It is so great to see this programme back for a second year. Il’Ab We’Yana has had an extremely positive start. We are proud to join hands once again with the QFA and Qatar Shell and look forward to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle to Qatar’s youth through football.’