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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 28: Kuwaiti Olympic Committee (KOC) since its establishment six decades ago, has played a key role in developing local sports and has offered great care to the Olympic movement according to the principals of the Olympic charter.
KOC, which is celebrating tomorrow its 65th anniversary, was established on September 28, 1958, by four local unions. Since then, it has always remained keen on following up on latest international sports developments, as well as organizing pioneer programmes and initiatives. It also supports Kuwaiti athletes taking part in Olympic competitions; cherishing values of solidarity and fair play.
The establishment of the KOC came upon recommendations of local sports bodies, namely the football, volleyball, and handball unions, as they found a need for an umbrella sports institution that keeps an eye on their affairs and activities especially during Olympic tournaments.
KOC held its first meeting during which it elected the first board of directors, headed by Jassem Al-Qittami, and involved in boosting and enhancing relations with international sports institutions and entities.
The national committee, which joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1966 and the Arab Federation for Sports in 1974, is a founding member the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which was established upon Kuwait’s recommendation in 1982 by its president at the time, the late Sheikh Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
On this occasion, KUNA met today the KOC Chairman, Sheikh Fahad Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah, who praised roles of KOC heads and members’ in developing the local sports. Their efforts were behind Kuwait’s participation in sports events and championships abroad. KOC is working to spread values of international Olympic games like sports conquest, respect, determination, bravery, unity, solidarity, equality, sustainability, as well as neglecting all forms of discrimination, he said. It also calls for peace and women participation in sports and sheds light on environmental issues, he added.
KOC, which cooperatesg with governmental and non-governmental institutions, is keen on maintaining good ties with them to best serve Kuwaiti athletes, he affirmed.
It also works to overcome obstacles encountering the Kuwaiti athletes in their competitions, and boost Olympic spirit, while it does not take part in any activity contradicting with the Olympic charter, which is considered as the constitution of Olympic sports, he added. He expressed deepest thanks and gratitude to the country’s wise political leaders for their constant concern and care for the young generation and youth, greatly reflected in winning many competitions and achieving championships’ first ranks.
He also hailed the roles of comprehensive and specialized local sports unions and clubs in training youth of various ages, offering backing to them at all times. The first participation of the KOC in the international Olympic tournament was in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964 with only administrative members. Real participation of Kuwaiti athletes in an Olympic championship came later in Mexico City, Mexico, four years later. (By Fahad Shafagah KUNA)