The official Opening Ceremony for the inaugural Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games Qatar 2019 took place at the KitaraAmphi theatre at 7.00pm (Qatar time).
Qatar Olympic Committee’s Secretary-General Jassim bin Rashid Al Buainain, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Committee and Director-General of Local Organizing Committee of Qatar 2019 World Beach Games, delivered the Organizing Committee’s speech, followed by ANOC Acting President Dr Robin Mitchell.
“Ladies and gentlemen together we are making history as this is the first and only truly global festival of beach, water and sports,” Dr Mitchell said.
“And we believe that this innovative new multi-sport concept is helping National Olympic Committees (NOC) connect with new sports, new stars and a whole new generation of sports fans for the first time.
He said in 2015 ANOC developed a vision of a global multi-sport event specifically for the benefit of the NOCs and their athletes. “An event that combines elite youth focused, beach, water and action sports at captivating beach locations,” Dr Mitchell said.
“As the action unfolds in the coming days – I have every confidence that you will see that vision being realized,” he added.
“In just 3 short months the organizing committee had committed all the necessary work and obligations to provide an excellent environment for athletes to compete at their very best over the coming days,” Dr Mitchell mentioned when acknowledging the support of the State of Qatar.
“You have been excellent partners and we are very grateful for your support, dedication and hard work. “I am sure everyone has seen the excellent world-standard facilities here in Doha,” he commented.
“I would also like to acknowledge the on-going support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through the many programs for their members, the NOCs.
“We are thrilled to have a good number of athletes here with us in Doha, as you the athletes are at the heart of these games.
“This is an international platform for you to showcase your skill and entertain people around the world,” he said.
“You are the world’s best athletes and you will no doubt put on an amazing show over the next few days – which will be shared by the media, the Olympic channel and all of you with your digital technology.
“I wish all you athletes and NOCs the very best of luck and a successful and enjoyable stay in Qatar,” Dr Mitchell said to conclude his remarks.
The preliminary action got underway on Friday in the Beach Handball and Beach Soccer competitions with fans sampling an early taste of the world-class thrills and spills that are expected in the coming days.
More than 1,200 athletes from 97 countries from five continents are competing in 14 competitions in four locations: the Katara Cultural Village, Aspire Zone, Al Gharafa Stadium and the Leqtaifiya Lagoon. A number of Olympic medalists, world champions and other leading names are contesting in each of the 13 sports.
The six-day competition ends on October 16 and is the prelude to the 24th ANOC General Assembly which takes place on 17 and 18 October, also in Doha.