'With four years to go, we continue to make sure this tournament belongs to everyone'
By Mead Al Emadi, SC Community Engagement Manager
As we move into 2019 and look back at 2018, our main motivation continues to be to include all the communities on the road to 2022. That's the essence of what Qatar 2022 is all about; to unite all communities and showcase the diversity amongst us and, more importantly, the commitment and passion within the Qatari communities in all existing natures.
For me it is an honour to speak directly to the people that are supporting us in the delivery of the first World Cup in the Arab world. Through our all initiatives we have reached out to thousands of people, but one of the programmes that personally makes me especially proud is the Accessibility Forum.
During the summer of 2018 the SC took a delegation of Accessibility Forum members to observe and report on the cultural and infrastructural disability services at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Fifteen representatives participated in the observation trip and documented their experiences in order to increase operational expertise and event readiness in 2022 for both the SC and its partners.
We also continued to reach out to the young generations in Qatar through the Youth Panel, which successfully began its third course having graduated 180 students since 2015. The 2018 class included 54 representatives of 30 different countries from across the world.
Our commitment to expatriate residents in Qatar has also continued to grow. We engage with people from 43 different countries, with each of them receiving regular updates about the tournament, along with direct access to our team of experts.
One of the SC's initiatives is also to support local and regional Ramadan tournaments annually to encourage greater participation in sports, to drive positive behaviour within the population and create lasting benefits for the region and its people. In 2018 we sponsored eight tournaments in Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.
In parallel, we hosted the second Ramadan Tournament workshop to empower local and regional football tournament organisers, and other parties to have the knowledge to deliver successful mini football tournaments from the planning to the delivery phase. Guest speakers included our very own SC Ambassador Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari, while 30 participants from different stakeholders also attended the workshop.
In the first part of 2018 we also launched the Cultural Experience programme, conducting several workshops to bring together the leading organisations within the cultural sector. Our goal with this initiative was to start the work to enhance the fan experience leading to and during the tournament in 2022.
Finally, we were delighted to complete another full and successful programme of Higher Education Info Sessions. The sessions were designed to update and educate the next generation of graduates across Qatar on the plans for Qatar 2022, and its associated legacy projects and opportunities.
It was wonderful to see how well they were attended. Across eight sessions in Education City and Al Bidda Tower, we reached out to over 600 students from Georgetown University, HBKU, Qatar University, Qatar University, Northwestern University and the Qatar Leadership Centre.
There are many ways in which we reach out to all the communities in Qatar, because they all form an integral part of our society and our progress. So I want to say; thank you. I want to make sure this World Cup belongs not only to Qatar, it belongs to you. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with you for the next four years.
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