WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 9, 2021–
Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, announced more than $200,000 in donations to Celebrity Sweat Cares, the OCSC Community Foundation (OCSC) and the LAFC Foundation (LAFC) to support healthy, active communities in celebration of National Sports Day.
Qatar Sports Day is celebrated annually on the second Tuesday in February to promote a healthy lifestyle among Qatar’s population. The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, D.C. hopes to extend that message to the U.S. through this support of organizations that offer sports opportunities to individuals from all backgrounds and regions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on sports, underscoring its importance to the health of our communities. A survey of over 13,000 adolescent athletes throughout the country, published in the Journal of Academic Training, found that 40% reported moderate to severe depression symptoms, and 37% reported moderate to severe anxiety due to restrictions placed on sporting activities during this time. The same nationwide survey found that adolescent athletes from areas with the highest levels of poverty reported the lowest physical activity levels as well as the highest levels of depression and anxiety. 1
"Qatar believes in harnessing the power of sport to drive positive change. In celebration of our National Sports Day, we are proud to support organizations that are making sports more accessible to communities across the United States," said His Excellency bin Hamad Al-Thani. "During this health crisis, ensuring that kids can remain active and reap the benefits of sports is essential. Our partners are ensuring that, even at home, children can do just that.”
Celebrity Sweat Cares is a multidimensional organization that has a built-in media presence through its live events and TV programming, and is committed to philanthropic outreach of all types. In addition to the work it does supporting American troops, first responders and their families, it is committed to finding ways to secure better sports equipment and fitness gear for kids.
The organization uses its network of partnerships with charitable groups like children’s hospitals, breast cancer research centers, shelters and community youth organizations to reach those with the greatest need. This $150,000 Qatar National Sports Day donation will ensure access to sports equipment for kids in communities across the U.S.
“The importance of sports in the physical and mental development of children has been proven a powerful tool to break down barriers and offer children from all backgrounds a positive way to improve their self-esteem,” said Lisa Levine, CEO of Celebrity Sweat Cares. “This donation will allow many children to enjoy the benefit of sports, and continue the pursuit of their dreams.”
As the charitable arm of the professional soccer team Orange County Soccer Club, the OCSC Community Foundation understands the immediate and long-term needs of underserved individuals and families in the greater Orange County community. Funds from this $40,000 donation will provide soccer balls and prizes for students who complete the OCSC Virtual Soccer curriculum.
“We are incredibly thankful for this generous gift from the people of Qatar,” said OCSC Community Foundation Executive Director Lisa Keston. “The ongoing support we have received from the Embassy of the State of Qatar in the United States allows us to continue making our community a better, healthier place through soccer clinics, mental health clinics, equipment distribution and academic programs.”
LAFC’s mission is to empower youth and communities across Greater Los Angeles by providing access and opportunity to the world’s game, teaching life skills, supporting public education, and promoting health and well-being. This $25,000 donation will support efforts regarding empowering youth in LAFC’s athletic and mentorship programs.
“Our vision is to create real and lasting change in the Los Angeles community as we continue to unite the world’s city through the world’s game,” LAFC Foundation Executive Director Alina Beruff said.
At a time when global dialogue is emphasizing cultural differences rather than similarities, Qatar continues its firm commitment to bringing the world together through cultural and sports exchange. In 2022, Qatar will take its celebration of sports one step further to become the first country in the Middle East and the Arab world to host soccer’s most prestigious event: the FIFA World Cup. Qatar is dedicated to ensuring that the tournament leaves a positive human, economic, social and environmental legacy for the country, the region and the world.
About the Embassy of the State of Qatar to the United States
The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, D.C. houses Qatar’s diplomatic mission to the United States. The primary purposes of the Embassy of Qatar are to highlight Qatar’s policies on regional issues, strengthen Qatar-U.S. bilateral relations and to assist Qatari citizens who travel or live in the U.S. The current Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States of America is His Excellency Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani.
1 From “The Health Of US Adolescent Athletes During Covid-19 Related School Closures And Sport Cancellations,” by Timothy A. McGuine, Ph.D., ATC; Kevin M. Biese, MA, ATC; Labina Petrovska, B.S.; Scott J. Hetzel, M.S.; Claudia Reardon, MD; Stephanie Kliethermes, Ph.D.; David Robert Bell, Ph.D., ATC; Alison Brooks, MD; and Andrew M. Watson, MD, MS, 2020, Journal of Athletic Training
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CONTACT: Allison Smith
KEYWORD: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA QATAR UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MIDDLE EAST
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: OTHER GOVERNMENT OTHER SPORTS SPORTS PUBLIC POLICY/GOVERNMENT PHILANTHROPY HEALTH GENERAL HEALTH OTHER PHILANTHROPY FOUNDATION
SOURCE: Embassy of the State of Qatar to the United States
Copyright Business Wire 2021.
PUB: 02/09/2021 09:17 AM/DISC: 02/09/2021 09:17 AM
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 9, 2021–