It was some time ago when many fellow athletes approached me to send an official invitation to His Highness Shaikh Nasser and His Highness Shaikh Khalid to participate in one of our events seeing how they are so into similar sports that we like. Specifically, we all saw that the fitness level they were in matched very well a growing sport around the world called Triathlon. Triathlon, as I am addicted to this sport as well, is a swim bike run race. The distance known as standard or Olympic distance is a 1.5km swim, followed by a 40km bicycle race, and ended with a 10km run. Yes, it’s that tough.
I didn’t actually extend an invitation, because for Triathlon, you can’t really drag someone to it, someone would have to drag himself to wake up at 4am and do the above distances. I’ve seen it before, when people are dragged to something as tough as a triathlon, they end up completely on the wrong side of the sport right after the finish line. For the future of this sport in Bahrain, I certainly did not want it to be like so to the President of the Higher Olympic Council.
You see, because we love this sport so much and wish that it grows in Bahrain, Bahrain Road Runners and myself as the current Chairman decided to invest in Yesterday’s race (12/4/13) in order to attract attention. We spoke as loud as possible to inform as many people as possible about this event. We worked hard, very hard to perfect the organization. Luckily, as we found out, our voice had reached His Highness Shaikh Nasser’s attention, and he decided that he will grab this opportunity, only two weeks before the race!
All of a sudden, this required us to give in 110% of our effort, where the responsibility now had quadrupled. The Road Runners Committee did just that and invited a group of runners called the Bahrain Social Runners for assistance. Everyone dug in deep and brought in their best, they were all tremendous and world class, and everyone on that day agreed. My job was very easy, having the best team for such event.
Today, the day after the Triathlon, all newspapers in Bahrain are showing results and news clips from the race. To many, this is a normal story, where His Highness has won again. To me, this is extraordinary. As I have said yesterday live over Radio Bahrain 96.5FM, and in Gulf Daily News today’s edition, I’ve seen it first hand how tough and fit both Highnesses are. For Shaikh Khalid, he was an ecstatic swimmer, on my shoulder through the whole swim. For Shaikh Nasser, he was catching up the competitors easy on the bike, and smoked them on the run.
We all know that HH Shaikh Nasser is a very busy man, so is HH Shaikh Khalid. What is important to note here is that being able to juggle and balance all the various responsibilities and still remain super fit should not be underestimated. For this, you cannot have people thinking for you, this is you, and only you thinking for yourself.
After what I have witnessed yesterday, my respect to both Highnesses have increased tenfold, at least. Both of them are tremendous leaders and on ground, I have witnessed how great individuals they are. They fit right in to the family lead by His Majesty the King.
For now, many signs are clear. Part of social reform in Bahrain is sports development, and believe it or not, a healthy lifestyle is a major factor of positive productivity. This is where I see things will go, and I find myself happy and relieved. The best thing a country needs, is for our leaders to lead by example.