Tournament will see HBKU bring region’s students together to participate in competitive sports
Strengthening its cooperation with higher education institutions across the region, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has announced it will host the Ninth Edition of the GCC Sports Tournament for Universities and Higher Education Institutes from February 4-10, 2023. The tournament will bring together students to compete in six sports: football on grass courts, volleyball, table tennis, padel, athletics, and swimming.
HBKU was selected to host the tournament by the Committee of Deans of Student Affairs for Universities in the Arab Gulf during its 32nd meeting, held in the Sultanate of Oman in February 2022, under the umbrella of the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and with 37 GCC universities and educational institutes attending.
Speaking ahead of a press conference to announce the tournament, Dr. Maryam Bint Hamad Al-Mannai, Vice President of Student Affairs at HBKU, said: “The Ninth Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes constitutes the second most prominent sporting event for GCC countries. More than 20 universities and educational institutes from various GCC countries are expected to participate. All competitions will be held on the sports grounds and facilities in Education City and those of Aspire Zone Foundation, logistics partner for the tournament. The facilities will be fully devoted to organizing this tournament at the highest level in a manner that befits the distinguished international sporting reputation enjoyed by Qatar. It will be held only a few weeks after Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the first Arab and Muslim country to have this honor, and for the first time in the MENA region.”
The Tournament’s Supervisory Committee conducted a preparatory meeting at HBKU on September 28, and discussed HBKU’s plans and latest preparations. During the meeting, the official logo of the tournament was launched. Dr. Al-Mannai explained that the logo was chosen following a contest open to students from across Education City, including HBKU. She pointed out that it aligns with the logo of the Secretariat General of the GCC Countries and refers to the strong cooperation ties between the countries. The logo includes the map of the GCC region, the number of the coming edition, and a running track.
The preparatory meeting was attended by Dr. Maryam Al-Mannai, HBKU; Mr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Altuwaijry, Head of Higher Education at the Secretariat General of the GCC; Dr. Abdul Karim Salman Al-Urayer, Dean of Student Affairs at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait; and Dr. Hafez Ahmed Ambosaidi, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Sultanate of Oman. It was also attended by Dr. Saleh Amilah Al-Rashidi, Dean of Student Affairs at Majmaah University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA); Dr. Ali Misfer Al-Qahtani, Dean of Student Affairs at King Khalid University, KSA; and Dr. Sami Abdullah Al-Duraei, Acting Dean of Student Affairs at Kuwait University.
The delegation also visited the HBKU campus and toured the sports facilities based in and around Education City. They were accompanied by the organizing committee at HBKU, comprising HBKU officials Dr. Maryam Al-Mannai, Committee President; Noor Al Jassim, Development Director and Committee Vice President; and Faisal Al-Mohannadi, Senior Student Engagement Supervisor and Manager of the Tournament.
For her part, Noor Al Jassim said: “HBKU is honored to be chosen to host the Ninth Sports Tournament for GCC Universities and Higher Education Institutes. Plans are underway for an exciting edition of the games, in collaboration with all governmental and private entities in Qatar. The tournament offers an opportunity for various entities and institutions in Qatar to be partners and to provide sponsorship services to ensure a special edition.”
Al Jassim added: “We look forward to welcoming students from across the region. Sport has an important place in student life, as it creates opportunities to promote students’ abilities, skills, and personal growth. While the tournament will promote cooperation, inclusivity, and healthy competition among the students, it will also build closer ties on an institutional level. It’s an opportunity to strengthen mutual efforts to leverage a form of sports diplomacy that contributes to the region’s social development.”
Faisal Al-Mohannadi, Manager of the Tournament, said: “All the parties concerned are committed to holding a special and exceptional edition from February 4-10, 2023. This sports tournament has always been of paramount importance because of its positive and tangible impact that directly reflects the depth of the relationship between the people of the GCC. From this standpoint, HBKU will ensure that the next edition will constitute a milestone in the history of student sports in GCC countries.”
Mohammed Bin Hamad Altuwaijry, Head of Higher Education at the Secretariat General of the GCC, stated: “I have the honor to thank HBKU for its generous hospitality and warm welcome.
We conducted multiple meetings during which we discussed the plan of the tournament, approved its logo, the time of holding it, and the proposed games. The committee has also agreed to raise the age ceiling for participants as HBKU is a university that offers higher studies programs. The committee members toured the distinguished sportsgrounds and state-of-the-art facilities that will host the tournament and concluded that they will contribute to hosting an exceptional edition.”
For more information on HBKU’s programs, please visit hbku.edu.qa.