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Group photo of AUK students with Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad.
OCA holds Olympics & Sport Education seminar for AUK students 3 remarkable world athletes share experience

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11: The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) held the Olympics & Sport Education Seminar exclusively for students of the American University of Kuwait (AUK). The event took place at the OCA headquarters in Kuwait and was organized by AUK’s International Relations Club, Office of Student Life, and Office of Public Affairs. The Seminar aimed to educate the students about the role participating in sports has on building character in educational, professional, and social levels. The Seminar was attended by the President of the Union of National Olympic Committees and Chairman of the OCA and the head of the Kuwait Olympic Committee, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Dr Nizar Hamzeh, Interim President of AUK, and Dr Saleh Al-Qambaz, Member of the Executive Bureau of International Anti-Doping.

Three remarkable world athletes were invited to the event to share their experiences with AUK students; Luther Mathews, first title winner of the  “FIFA World Player of the Year”, best soccer and Captain of the West Germany team, who won the1990 FIFA World Cup; Sergei Bubka from Ukrain, member of the International Olympic Committee and world record holder in pole vaulting; and Rania Alwani, member of the International Olympic Committee and swimming champion from Egypt. Mathews stressed in his speech the importance of sports, especially football, in promoting the spirit of cooperation and harmony amongst teammates - as they depend on each other and work together on achieving a common goal. He explained that this translates into the players’ personal lifestyles as well, encouraging them to become more community-conscious individuals. Bubka agreed with Mathews, adding that dedication to one’s community is a value that is supported by the Olympic Games and sports in general.

Alwani explained that she has participated in sports since early childhood. She began winning tournaments at an early age, which helped in developing her character as a self-motivator; in competitions, and in her life, making her a positive, contributing member of her community. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, Al-Sabah, said that the Olympic movement plays a vital role in the growth of individuals, and society in general, by the impact it has on political, economic and social development. “The Olympic movement has pushed many countries to develop their infrastructure and sports facilities and urged them to pay attention to young people,” he added.  Al-Sabah also explained that the Olympic movement still has a few obstacles to overcome, primarily the elimination of illegal betting on games and doping.

Dr Al-Qambaz stressed the need to encourage sports activities among the youngsters, and educate them about the negative effects of illegal stimulants on human life and the health risks associated with steroid consumption, that in some instances lead to death. In addition to leading to harmful results in individuals, steroid usage also affects the image of the country they are representing, he said, adding that the international community is taking steps towards eradicating its usage.

AUK Interim President Hamzeh commended the OCA for organizing such a productive seminar for the students of AUK. He also stressed that “the American University of Kuwait understands the importance of seeking a balance between academic learning and sports education. They, actually, complement each other. If total education makes full development of the over-all personality of a student possible, he/she gets the qualities of leadership, tolerance, sharing and team-spirit from sports.” In his closing remarks, Interim President Hamzeh urged the attending students to participate in sports and have a positive impact on the society.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is the apex sporting body which controls all the sports in Asia. It is one of the five continental associations recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The OCA was formed in 1982 and has its permanent headquarters in Kuwait. The main objective of the OCA is to develop sport, culture and education of Asian youth as well as to promote international respect, friendship, goodwill & peace through sports.

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