Iraq: Sulaimanyah - ROTA Olympics
In late 2012, GCC Iraq leaders and mentors launched the ROTA Olympics in Sulaimanyah to foster healthy lifestyle and fitness, and to bring together youth from around the area to build relationships through sports. The event, which occurred on December 17th and 18th, also sought to celebrate the accomplishments of the past three years of the GCC Iraq program and its leaders. In developing and designing the concept for the Olympics, twenty GCC leaders coordinated with the Department of Education to gain participation from five high schools, as well as an in-kind donation for professional referees and venue, which was held at the Stadiums of Sport and Scout Activity. More than 150 young men and women participated in the Olympic games, which included several sports, such as football, volleyball, table tennis, and most impressive, a 12 km marathon race. More than 100 youth ran the marathon, which required GCC leaders to work with the Department of Traffic to provide security during the race, as well as ambulances to be on site in case of sickness. At the conclusion of the event, medals, trophies, and other prizes were awarded to winning teams and runners. In addition to drawing more than 200 audience members, the ROTA Olympics also received media coverage through two satellite channels, Speda and Payam TV, which reached an estimated 5,000 people.