UNIVERSITY researchers have been awarded more than £152,000 to look at how the 2022 Qatar Football World Cup can be used to inspire social change in the country.
The project will see Edinburgh Napier University experts Dr. Eleni Theodoraki, Dr. Jane Ali-Knight and Dr. Maktoba Omar working with Stenden University – Qatar academics Dr. Dan Musinguzi and Dr. Sohair Abul-Haija, to help organisers understand how the event can help tackle Qatar’s high levels of obesity and bring down its carbon footprint.
The study which starts in December has been funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (Qatar Foundation).
Dr. Theodoraki, from the University’s Edinburgh Institute: Festivals, Events, Tourism said: “Mega sporting events have the power to inspire social change. Qatar, which suffers from high levels of diabetes and obesity as well as a high per capita carbon footprint, has the opportunity to use the 2022 World Cup to encourage people to adopt greener and more physically active lifestyles.
“By engaging with experts in Qatar and in the UK, we aim to find out what opportunities exist in the nine year run up to the event, as well as during it, to promote habits of recycling, low carbon use and physical activity.”
President of Stenden University - Qatar, Mr. Wayne Johnson said: “This grant represents the important contribution we will be making to national development within the State of Qatar. The research, which will be conducted jointly between the two universities, will add considerable value to the long term sustainability goals of Qatar. We are very excited about this collaboration and look forward to a very successful and well received research work that will no doubt form the basis for future and continued co-operation.”
The research team will work with Qatari event managers, public health experts, physical educators, city planners and environmental agencies. Their findings will be shared with the Qatar government as well as with FIFA.