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OCA Sport Congress starts in Kuwait
OCA Sport Congress starts in Kuwait


12 Mar 2009
The first Olympic Council of Asia Sport Congress got underway in the Arraya Ballroom of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on Thursday morning. The OCA President, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, outlined the six themes of the three-day congress, and said the findings would be passed on to the IOC Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October.

With OCA activities growing rapidly, the time was right to hold a congress to decide the road forward, Sheikh Ahmad said, and the main points to be addressed would include sports science, the role of women in sport and sports marketing.

The OCA President described Kuwait as "the second home" for all its affiliated National Olympic Committees, as it was the hub of Asian sport with a new headquarters, Olympia, inaugurated the previous evening.

"It is a great honour for us here in Kuwait to host the first Sport Congress in Asia," Sheikh Ahmad said in his welcome address.

IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge began his address by praising the inauguration ceremony of Olympia on Wednesday night.

"It was a splendid ceremony with a fantastic backdrop of the new OCA HQ and under a full moon...I am sure it made Asia and the whole Olympic movement very proud," said Dr. Rogge.

He also recalled his comments at a press conference after the Athens Olympics in 2004 when he described Asia as a rising super power in world sports due to the efforts of the likes of China, Japan and Korea.

"This was confirmed in Beijing," he added, "with 212 Olympic medals won by 19 NOCs in Asia."

Dr. Rogge said that a large population helped Asia's cause, but this would not produce results alone without good organisation and support from all 45 NOCs.

He described the organisation within the OCA as "dynamic", and that "great leadership" and unity had helped move Asia forward on the world stage.

Congress Commission Director Dr. Reza Gharakhanlou provided details of the Congress, which will involve a series of workshops in four halls.

He said 315 scientific papers had been received from 17 Asian NOCs, and 53 had been selected for presentation here. In addition there would be 12 poster presentations and 74 invited experts, making around 130 presentations in total over three days.
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