About 50 exhibitors, including various national sports associations, committees and companies associated with products promoting health and fitness, manufacturing sports goods, consultancy and training services, have set up their stalls at the first Oman Sports Exhibition and Conference, which was inaugurated on Monday.
Organised by the Ministry of Sports Affairs in association with Global Exhibitions and Conferences (GEC), the three-day expo was inaugurated by HE Sultan bin Salim al Habsi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, in the presence of H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, at the Oman International Exhibition Centre.
In his welcome address, H E Saadi said, “The Ministry of Sports Affairs is delighted to organise a event of this kind for the first time. The event is aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle and youth development in Oman. Sport, whether leisure or competition-based, also helps engage and build communities, and foster a sense of patriotism in people across all ages. We wish good luck to all the participants and companies that are taking part in this event.”
Ahmad al Harthy, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am1 2012 champion, who has flown in the winning car to display at the exhibition, said, “I am proud to be part of this event. I represent my country outside Oman and this is a perfect stage where I can share my experience with youngsters of the country.”
Lauding the ministry's efforts, Taha al Kishry, the Oman Swimming Association (OSA) chairman, said, “It is a good start as nearly the entire sports community of Oman has gathered under one roof. This event will certainly grow in coming years. The participation of all national associations is encouraging.”
Mubarak Hill, General Manager of Ghala Valley Golf Club, said, “We are part of the Oman Golf Committee (OGC) and are here to promote golf as a sport among Omani population. We want to show visitors that Oman has got world-class golf facilities and how easy it is to play the game.”
Moula Bakhsh al Balushi, manager of Al Hail Cricket Team, said, “Our participation here is to help Omani cricketers get some limelight. We hope to soon rebrand our team and start an academy for Omani cricketers.”
Meanwhile, as part of the exhibition, a one-day sports seminar will be held at Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa on Tuesday.