Organised by Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and Ministry of Education, the 7th edition of the Schools Olympic Progam (SOP) will launch today Wednesday 30 September 2013 at Al Sadd Sports Club.

Under the new theme of ‘Sport and Integrity’, the SOP will have contests starting in 13 sports for boys and girls. The event will continue until April 2014 with a closing ceremony to be held at the Aspire Dome. The finals are scheduled on 10 and 11 April 2014.

Key speakers included SOP Executive Director Mohamed Issa Al Fadallah, SEC Physical Education Section Head Moza Al Badr, Qatar Anti-Doping Commission Director Dr Fatima Al Malki, International Centre For Sport Security (ICSS) Representative Seham Al Awami, Qatar Anti-Doping Laboratory Communication and Marketing Director Mashael Al Ansari, Maersk Oil Qatar Social Investment Senior Adviser Fawzi Al Aji and Qatar School Sports Federation Executive Director Abdulrahman Al Moftah. Some of Qatar’s most successful athletes, including Olympic bronze medallists Nasser bin Saleh al Attiyah (shooting) and Mutaz Essa Barshim (high jump), are expected to attend the SOP competitions to encourage the participants.

This year, SOP will feature an additional sport, which is shooting, bringing the total number of sporting events on its calendar to 11 therefore increasing the base of participants for both male and female in Qatar.

SOP is an annual sport programme that brings together partners like the Qatar School Sport Association, Qatar Paralympic Committee, Ministry of Interior, International Centre for Sport Security, Qatar Anti-Doping Commission, Anti-Doping Laboratory Qatar as well as Maersk Oil Qatar, which will be the programme’s official sponsor for the next three years.

The Sport Exercise Survey, jointly conducted by QOC, Qatar Statistics Authority and Supreme Education Council, showed that 91% of the families encouraged their children to participate in SOP.

For more information, visit QOC’s website.