Manama: The Fifth Mini Olympics was officially declared open to a spectacular opening ceremony on Thursday at Isa Sports City’s Bahrain Volleyball Association gym in Riffa.
It is being organised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) in co-operation with the Ministry of Education with over 3,500 students from government and private schools competing in a record 20 disciplines this year.
His Majesty King Hamad's Representative for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa inaugurated the Mini Olympics, which will run until March 22.
Other high-ranking sports officials were also present at the ceremony, including Education Ministry undersecretary Dr Faouzi Al Jowder, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports deputy general secretary and BOC general secretary Abdulrahman Askar, as well as representatives of sports federations, the ministry and participating schools.
Askar noted the massive leap in the Mini Olympics, and said that with 58 schools participating this year and over 3,500 students competing in 20 disciplines compared to the previous edition’s 14 in 2014 reflects the remarkable development of organisation and the experience gained by the BOC over the past years to make this edition an even greater success.
A number of musical and dancing shows, performed by several participating schools’ pupils, were staged on the course, and focused on Shaikh Nasser’s slogan this year ‘Gold Only’ as a target for all Bahraini athletes at regional and international competitions.
The ceremony concluded with Shaikh Nasser lighting up a torch to declare the Mini Olympics open. In a touching gesture, he met Maram Al Sayed Jalil, a student with special needs from Al Khansa Primary Girls School at the gym.