Lack of sports activities in Qatari youth

Interviewee Name: Fawad Al Hasan

Position: School Sports Coach

For this interview, I chose Mr. Fawad Al Hasan, who was the sports instructor at my school back home. The reason I chose him is because I remember him advocating for an increase in physical activities in Qatar while I was at school. He believed that there was less focus on physical activities in the country and therefore, he was of the view that more sporting activities could contribute to an increase in the physical activities among the youngsters of the country. He conducted seminars on the topic and also planned walks in support of it. I contacted him via my friend and he was kind enough to come on Skype and give me an interview. I had prepared my questions in advance. Most of these questions were open-ended to provide the interviewee an opportunity to explore the topic according to his experience and knowledge.

I inquired about the status of physical activities among the youth. Mr. Fawad was not satisfied with the youth. He believed that there should be more sporting activities in the schools than there are currently. He said that most of the schools in the country are focusing on preparing the students for their exams only. It was shocking to know from Mr. Fawad that there are many schools in the country that didn’t even have a sports coach who could guide students in sports and other physical activities. According to Mr. Fawad, there is an increased problem of obesity in the country than it was 15 years ago. The main contributor to lack of sporting activities is the lack of interest of the youth in it. I asked the reasons behind this lack of interest. Mr. Fawad insisted that the country has got economically stable. Parents are not reluctant to provide their children with a car of their own. Youth is more interested in driving their cars around and joining auto clubs than joining a sports club. Also children and youth have sophisticated computers and other electronic gaming devices which they use as a replacement of physical sports. More time is spent indoors, sitting in front of electronic devices than outdoors, engaging in physical activities.

I enquired Mr. Fawad about the solution to the issue under discussion. He said that the solution is not easy and straight forward. It is multifold. First there is a need to educate the general public about the adverse effects of lack of physical activities and how physical activities can be promoted via sports. Then, there is a need to talk to parents and convince them to approach the life styles of their children more effectively than they are doing currently. Thirdly, there is a need to run advocacy campaigns to engage schools in hiring sports coaches. Lastly, there is a need to reach out to politicians and government officials and turn their attention to the issue as they currently seem to be less interested in the issue.

At the end of the interview, I thanked Mr. Fawad for his time and all the information that he provided me related to my topic of interest.