Qatar’s innovative Kun Riyadi Programme (Be an Athlete) concluded a successful first year of implementation with a celebratory festival hosted by the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOE). The first phase has seen more than a thousand students, seven years old and younger, from schools and nurseries across Qatar, participate in sports.
Kun Riyadi is Qatar’s unique Athlete Development Pathway (ADP) that aims to produce Qatar’s future sporting champions by focusing on sports development at every stage, from early childhood to post-retirement. The first phase, ‘Quality’ has been rolled out over the past school year and is directed at young children (7 years old and younger) in nurseries and schools across Qatar. It aims to instil enjoyment and interest in sports from the earliest possible age through exploratory sessions.
QOC Secretary General Jassim Al Buenain said they are extremely pleased by the success of the Kun Riyadi programme and by the number of children introduced to the raw fun and enjoyment of sports.
This is key to ensuring that children will continue to participate in sports with confidence long into the future. Our ambition is to continue introducing more children to more sports so that every school child in Qatar has the opportunity to participate and develop through sports. We thank all our stakeholders and partners for their support in ensuring a successful start to the programme and we look forward to watching it grow and prosper in the years ahead.’
Held at the Recreation Centre of Qatar Foundation, the end-of-year festival saw schoolchildren demonstrate what they learned over the year with Team Qatar gymnasts Ahmed Nabeel and Jana Al Kiki and Team Qatar Swimmer Abdelaziz Al Obaidly, on hand to inspire the children with their skills.
QOC Director of Sports Affairs Khaleel Al Jabir said that the first phase of the programme aims to develop motor skills that are useful for running, jumping and throwing later on in the young athletes’ lives. He said that they have seen the positive impact of the programme on young children and are very proud of what it has achieved.
Gymnastics, Athletics and Swimming
Since its launch in October 2017, the ‘Quality’ phase of Kun Riyadi has been rolled out across three sports – gymnastics, athletics and swimming – supported by coaches from Qatar’s national federations and by school teachers who provide fun and engaging lessons. Inspirational field trips to Qatar’s state-of-the-art equestrian centre, Al Shaqab and the Lusail Shooting Complex, enabled schoolchildren to be educated in new sports. The programme also helped break barriers by using sports as tool to engage everyone, including children with autism.
More national federations are expected to be involved in the programme in the next academic year, including the Qatar Tennis Federation. The vision of Kun Riyadi is to expand and grow until eventually all schools and sports in Qatar are involved by 2022.
Pre-University Education (PUE) at Qatar Foundation has been an active and effective partner in the roll out of the programme, with two of its schools participating in the first phase, and by providing its facilities to host the end-of-year festival. As an act of gratitude and appreciation for their support, the QOC presented the equipment and tools used for the athletics activities to QF PUE, to use for their own educational programmes.
For more information about the Athlete Development Pathway, visit the QOC website at olympic.qa.